Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran on Wednesday for talks on boosting trade and energy cooperation as the two countries grapple with Western economic sanctions.
Tehran and Moscow both have huge oil and gas reserves, but are constrained by sanctions that limit their ability to export their production.
“Upon his arrival in Tehran, Lavrov met with President (Ebrahim) Raisi,” state television website Iribnews reported, without giving further details.
During his two-day visit, the head of Russian diplomacy is expected to discuss with Iranian officials “the 2015 nuclear agreement, the situation in Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan, and the strengthening of trade and energy”, added Iribnews.
Lavrov will meet his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Thursday, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Russia has been hit with sanctions after its invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February, while Iran’s economy has been rocked by the biting sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018, following Washington’s withdrawal of a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the major powers.
Russia played a key role in this deal, taking over Iran’s excess stockpiles of enriched uranium beyond those allowed by the deal.
He took part in stumbling talks between Iran and the powers on reviving the 2015 deal with renewed participation from the United States.
Negotiations have stalled since March amid sharp differences between Tehran and Washington over the US sanctions that would be lifted in exchange for Iran’s return to full compliance with agreed limits on its nuclear activities.
Iranian Raisi visited Moscow in January and said he had presented his counterpart Vladimir Putin with draft documents on strategic cooperation that would cement the collaboration for the next two decades.
In late May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak headed a large delegation to Tehran after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent global oil and gas prices skyrocketing. .