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Iran Praises Growth in Volume of Bilateral Trade with Belarus

By Nigar Bayramli October 28, 2022


Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Belarus counterpart, Vladimir Makei, addressed a joint press conference in Tehran, on October 26, 2022. / Akharin Khabar

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has hailed progress in cooperation in transport and trade with Belarus.

“We hope that we will see an increase in trade volume between the two countries,” Amir-Abdollahian said on October 26, while addressing a joint press conference in Tehran with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Speaking about progress in cooperation in transport and logistics, transit trade, industry and technology, the Iranian minister highlighted bilateral engagement in combating sanctions.

Amir-Abdollahian also announced that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko would visit Iran in the "near future", during which the two countries would sign an agreement on "long-term, comprehensive cooperation".

In his turn, the Belarusian minister agreed that economic and commercial cooperation constituted a key focus of talks between Iran and Belarus, saying that the agreements reached during his visit would lead to the development of "strategic relations" between the two countries.

Referring to the sanctions imposed on Belarus and Iran, Makei said that both Belarus and Iran "must work together to develop adequate measures" to respond to acts of Western "economic terrorism".

Amir-Abdollahian also “strongly rejected” accusations that Iran has provided Russia with drones which have been used in its war in Ukraine, saying that "we invite Ukrainian officials to present any kind of document that exists in connection with this matter at a bilateral meeting at the level of Iranian and Ukrainian technical experts".

The Iranian top diplomat emphasized that “we are against the war in Ukraine,” and accused the US of supporting “terror and chaos”.

On October 23, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine reported that Iranian instructors were brought to Belarus, where they are training the Russian military and coordinating the launches of the Shahed-136 UAV at infrastructure facilities in the Kyiv Oblast, and the northern and western oblasts of Ukraine.

"In the village of Mikulichi, in Gomel Oblast, a group of Iranian instructors, officers of the IRGC [Islamic Revolution Guards Corps], who are under the increased protection of the Russian National Guard and FSB officers, have been spotted,” the report said.

The New York Times reported on October 18 that Iran sent instructors to the occupied Crimea to help the Russians overcome problems with a fleet of drones they purchased from Tehran.

Earlier, the Ukrainian resistance movement reported that there were up to 20 instructors from Iran on the territory of the occupied Kherson Oblast. Meanwhile, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Shahed drones will not affect the course of the war.

At least 20 Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones were probably delivered to Belarus at the Luninets airfield, which Russian troops have repeatedly used for air raids, according to the regional administration of the Territorial Defense Forces "West" of Ukraine.

Iran repeatedly rejected statements by US officials alleging the presence of Iranian military personnel in the occupied Crimea to train Russian forces on the use of Iranian-made drones.