Russia and Iran agree on text of comprehensive cooperation treaty, legislative procedures pending

By bne Tehran bureau June 11, 2024

Russia and Iran have fully agreed on the text of a treaty on comprehensive cooperation, but the document cannot be signed until Iran completes necessary legislative procedures, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on June 11, RBC reported.

Speaking at a press conference following the BRICS Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Nizhny Novgorod, Lavrov stated, "The text is fully agreed upon, but for this treaty to be submitted for approval by the presidents and, accordingly, for signing, the Islamic Republic of Iran needs to carry out a number of procedural legislative actions on the issues that have already been fixed in the treaty."

Iran joined the BRICS group in January 2024, alongside Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia. Acting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who assumed the post following the death of his predecessor Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, represented Iran at the current meeting.

Lavrov added that he and Bagheri Kani reaffirmed their commitment to the document, which aims to elevate Russia-Iran relations to a new level.

Earlier, Zamir Kabulov, director of the second Asia department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, told RIA Novosti that work on the treaty had been suspended due to issues on the Iranian side, as the Iranian leadership is currently focused on preparing for the upcoming presidential elections.

​"This is a strategic decision of the leadership of the two countries … I have no doubt that it will be completed after the text of the agreement is agreed upon, and then the leaders of the two countries will decide on the time and place of signing,” Kabulov said.

The existing Russia-Iran Treaty on the Foundations of Relations and Principles of Cooperation, signed in 2001, is automatically renewed every five years. However, both countries have acknowledged that the current agreement no longer reflects the evolving geopolitical landscape and the deepening cooperation between them.

Negotiations on a new treaty began in January 2022 following Raisi's visit to Moscow. Russian Ambassador to Tehran Alexei Dedov has described the prospective agreement as a crucial document that could shape Russian-Iranian relations for years, if not decades, to come.

Iran's ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, also wrote on X that the process of finalising the strategic agreement is ongoing according to the plan.

"What is mentioned in the media as the suspension of the partnership agreement between the two countries is incorrect and the result of inaccurate translation of the statements of Russian authorities," he said.

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