On Monday, January 23, the third meeting of the Commission on Cooperation between the State Duma and the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran was held in Tehran. The parliamentarians of the two countries discussed issues of legislative support for trade and economic cooperation in the fields of energy, transport and agriculture, cooperation in the Caspian Sea, ensuring regional security and countering terrorism and extremism.
“The current relations between Russia and Iran are reaching a new level, strengthening mutual trust and deepening practical interaction,” said Vyacheslav Volodin. He recalled that the dynamics were set by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi.
Development of economic cooperation
According to the Chairman of the State Duma, a new basic interstate agreement and several relevant agreements are almost ready and are aimed at further development of cooperation, including in such areas as trade, transport, logistics, energy, agriculture, banking, investment and customs regulation. “This is actually unprecedented in our relations, because almost all areas are involved,” he added.
Vyacheslav Volodin stressed that “in conditions of sanctions pressure on our countries, it is extremely important to increase economic potential.” In 2022, trade turnover between the countries increased by almost 15% and reached 4.6 billion USD.
“We see great potential in the implementation of joint large-scale infrastructure projects, enhancement of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran. I mean the planned conclusion of a platform agreement on a free trade zone to replace the temporary agreement. This is especially relevant in the context of the implementation by our countries of the project on building of the International North-South Transport Corridor,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
The Chairman of the State Duma also called for increasing the efficiency of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the financial and banking areas, including more active payments in national currencies. Their share exceeds 60%.
“The work on the joint use of the national payment systems Mir and Shetab is almost completed. This will help minimize the impact of sanctions and, of course, resolve issues related to mutually beneficial cooperation, increasing trade between our countries,” stressed Vyacheslav Volodin.
Dialogue to Ensure International Security
The Chairman of the State Duma noted the importance of developing a dialogue between the parliamentarians of the two countries to ensure international security.
“Russia and Iran together uphold the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, stand for multipolar and fair world order in the interests of our nations,” he said.
The Chairman of the State Duma recalled that “the joint efforts of Russia and Iran countering the terrorist threat in Syria contribute to strengthening security in the region.”
“Russia and Iran today successfully confront the international expansion of the United States of America and NATO. The unprecedented sanctions pressure is used against our countries. Washington and its satellites want to stop the development of our states by interfering in internal affairs and spreading misinformation. We saw this in a demarche prepared by foreign powers during a demonstration in Iran last year. Those attempts are doomed to failure: our countries will never bow to foreign dictates,” emphasized Vyacheslav Volodin.
Common problems and challenges, sanctions pressure unite, the Chairman of the State Duma added: “if we overcome those issues, we become stronger.” “Therefore, it would be right for us today to discuss issues of concern in the framework of the development of cooperation, and try to do everything within the framework of the parliamentary formats to ensure that our interaction will be closer and we continue to develop our economies in the interests of the citizens of our countries,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
“It is necessary to counter US unilateral actions at the regional level,” agreed Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. According to him, the importance of Russia-Iran relations is growing.
“Parliamentary diplomacy is one of the most important things, and we should use this opportunity to develop our cooperation in all [other] areas,” stressed the Chairman of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran.