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Putin says Iran is Russia's reliable and stable partner

29 March 2017

An Iranian delegation, including President Hassan Rouhani, arrived in Moscow on Monday. The visit gains additional significance amid Washington's waning influence in the Middle East with other major powers attempting to capitalise on the power vacuum.

Iranian arms purchases and Russian investment in the Iranian energy sector are likely talking points for Rouhani, less than two months before Iran's May 19 presidential election.

Rohani met with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on March 27 and was expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin the following day.

Rouhani and Putin plan to hold talks on a range of issues.

Rouhani's first official visit to Russian Federation comes as the two Syrian regime supporters push for ways to end the six-year conflict, having done much to marginalise USA influence in peace talks.

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The presidents are slated to meet later in the day to discuss bilateral and global issues.

Rouhani added: "In recent years our relations have entered the fourth stage of their development, which is marked by the proximity of the positions of the parties on a number of key global issues".

The rapprochement is a concern for both Saudi Arabia, Tehran's main rival for dominance in the Middle East, and for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has expressed an interest in working more closely with Russian Federation but has issued a number of harsh statements about Iran.

Russian Federation has been seeking to advance its nuclear, defense and agricultural and telecommunication cooperation with Iran over the past years. Though the two countries have never been traditional allies, their cooperation has been constantly growing in recent years with cautious moves from both sides.

Putin says Iran is Russia's reliable and stable partner