AFP: Iran called Wednesday on foreign powers not to block cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, ahead of a summit between the two nations struggling to mend an unprecedented rift in bilateral ties.
MOSCOW (AFP) — Iran called Wednesday on foreign powers not to block cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, ahead of a summit between the two nations struggling to mend an unprecedented rift in bilateral ties.
“We cannot allow far away countries to prevent our cooperation and strategic partnership,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in an interview on Russia Today television channel.
“We have longstanding relations with Russia and we hope to cooperate in the long-term with this country,” he said, adding, “our countries have an enormous potential for political, economic and technological cooperation”.
Mehmanparast spoke ahead of a Thursday summit in the Azerbaijani capital Baku between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Analysts describe the meeting, during a leaders’ summit of five littoral Caspian Sea states, as a last chance to repair ties that have frayed over Moscow’s support of UN sanctions against Tehran.
Russian-Iranian tensions came to the boil in September when Moscow — after repeated delays — officially dropped plans to supply Tehran with high-precision S-300 missiles and a batch of other sensitive arms.
Iran did little to hide its displeasure with Russia’s reversal.
Ahmadinejad this month accused Russia of falling “under the influence of Satan (the United States)” and selling out “to our enemies”.