Russia and Iran Planning to Boost Economic Ties

Russia and Iran, both under sanctions from the West, plan to increase trade with one another.

Ben Ariel,

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Reuters

Russian officials have traveled to Iran's capital to boost economic ties between the two countries, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Tuesday.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, oversaw a meeting of businessmen in Tehran, calling on them to increase trade, according to the report.

Zanganeh said, "God willing, we will quickly increase the level of relations up to more than 10 times."

Novak expressed the readiness of Russia for industrial cooperation, saying, "We have a lot of capabilities to strengthen our cooperation in the fields of electricity, natural gas, oil — as well as nuclear plants and aircraft parts and other equipment."

Last year, trade between the two countries was about $1.5 billion, noted AP.

The two countries were recently finalizing plans for Russia to build at least two more nuclear power plants on the Islamic Republic's southern Gulf shores.

Iran's Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said in June that after months of negotiations, the deal with Moscow would be signed and would see Russia building two more 1,000-megawatt plants next to Iran's sole existing plant in the southern Gulf port city of Bushehr.

The Islamic Republic signed the Bushehr contract with Russia in 1995 and the nuclear power plant reached its full capacity by August 2012. The plant made headlines last year when it experienced a critical malfunction, leading some to believe that it had been the result of a cyber attack. 

The two countries have a greater interest in strengthening their ties as both have been hit by sanctions from the West - Iran over its nuclear program and Russia over its military involvement in Ukraine.




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