President Vladimir Putin praised the expanding ties between Russia and Iran during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow on Thursday.
“Our relations are developing very well. Please convey my best wishes to leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei,” Putin told Raisi, referring to Iran's head of state.
“Thanks to his support, we have gained good momentum over the past year,” Interfax quoted Putin as saying.
The leaders discussed the strong ties between their countries and the recent Israel-Hamas war, which has raised tensions throughout the Middle East.
President Putin, positioning himself as a potential mediator in the Israel-Hamas conflict, engaged with leaders from Israel and Arab states early in the war.
The meeting with President Raisi follows the signing of a joint statement by Tehran and Moscow intended to counter Western sanctions imposed on both countries.
“We signed the Declaration on Ways and Means to Counteract, Mitigate and Compensate for the Negative Consequences of Unilateral Coercive Measures,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Moscow.
The accord, according to Lavrov, is a critical step toward "improving the coordination of efforts by members of the world community to overcome illegal sanctions."
He further accused the US and its allies of making the sanctions a “substitute for diplomacy.”
Lavrov had discussions with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of a ministerial summit of the five Caspian countries, including Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has led to unprecedented level of cooperation between Russia and Iran, extending into military, economic, and political realms. Both countries have faced Western sanctions and criticism from the international community.
Criticism from the West has been directed at Tehran for its support of Russia in the Ukrainian war, particularly in providing kamikaze drones. However, Iran refutes the notion that these arms were supplied for use in the war. Tehran acknowledges delivering a “limited number” of drones several months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On November 28, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Mahdi Farahi announced that Iran has finalized the arrangements to acquire Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters and Russian Su-35 fighter jets.