Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.
(photo credit: IRANIAN MEDIA)
WASHINGTON – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for the first time in nearly a decade on Monday bearing gifts: A rare replica of the Osman Koran and Moscow’s commitment to its burgeoning alliance with the Islamic Republic.
Meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, Putin said Russia would continue supporting the sustenance and growth of Iran’s nuclear program in light of the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached last summer.
To that end, Putin formally ordered the resumption of nuclear technology exports to the country, and announced that Russia would help Iran export its enriched uranium out of the country – long considered a possible resolution to the fate of the internationally sanctioned stockpile.
These new commitments build on previous Russian pledges to provide Iran with advanced missile-defense systems, which Tehran has sought to defend its nuclear infrastructure against possible attack.
Putin’s three-day visit to Tehran was scheduled around a summit on gas exports. But his meetings with Iranian leadership underscored their alignment on a host of strategic policies contrary to the interests of the United States.
Both countries agree that the fate of Syria, in particular, lies with its embattled president, Bashar Assad. And both Putin and Khamenei stuck to that conviction on Monday.
“The Americans have a long-term plot and are trying to dominate Syria and then the whole region,” Khamenei said. “This is a threat to all countries, especially Russia and Iran.”
“The United States is now trying to achieve its failed military objectives in Syria by political means,” he continued.
A Kremlin spokesman was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying that Putin and Khamenei had agreed at their talks that global powers should not impose their political will on Syria.
Putin, on his first visit to Iran since 2007, presented an old edition of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, to Khamenei, the Iranian leader’s website said, publishing photos of the book.
Ali Akbar Velayati, top adviser of the supreme leader, called Putin’s twohour meeting with Khamenei “unprecedented in the history of both countries,” according to the Fars news agency.