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Russia’s Lavrov in Iran to discuss nuclear deal, cooperation on energy

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (en.Kremlin.ru/Released/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in Iran as negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers remain stalled.

Lavrov arrived on June 22 for a two-day visit that Iranian state media and TASS said included a meeting with hard-line Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Iranian state TV showed Lavrov meeting with Raisi but gave no details.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA said Lavrov would meet Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on June 23.

Lavrov and Iranian officials will discuss the nuclear deal — reached in 2015 with Iran by Russia, Germany, France, Britain, China, and the United States — as well as boosting bilateral and energy cooperation, Iranian state media said.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that Lavrov’s visit was aimed at “expanding cooperation with the Eurasian region and the Caucasus.”

Moscow said last month that Russia and Iran had discussed swapping supplies for oil and gas as well as setting up a logistics hub. The economies of the two countries have been heavily impacted by Western sanctions.

Those against Russia came after it launched its military operation in Ukraine.

Harsh sanctions against Iran include those reimposed after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that the Russian and Iranian diplomats would exchange views on a number of pressing international issues, including the situation around the talks to revive the nuclear deal, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

Indirect talks between Iranian and U.S. negotiators to reinstate the nuclear deal have been on hold since March.

The main sticking point is Tehran’s demand that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from the U.S. list of designated terrorist organizations.