Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Moscow, January 10, 2018
Mr Minister, friends,
I am happy to welcome you to the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation. We met several times last year and this was important considering the high level of communication between the presidents of Russia and Iran.
We were happy to welcome President of Iran Hassan Rouhani when he arrived on an official visit to Moscow last March. Later, Mr Rouhani met with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Tehran and in Sochi.
Our foreign ministries, security councils and other ministries maintain close cooperation. A regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation is being prepared. We suggested holding it at the beginning of this year.
We have what we need to discuss, primarily international issues. We are now at a very responsible stage of preparations for our tripartite Russian-Iranian-Turkish initiative on holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. We are convinced that without our initiatives, starting with the Astana process launched a year ago, the Geneva talks would not have been so important for all the participants in this process. We are convinced (and recently spoke about this in Moscow with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura whom we received together with Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu) that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress can really create conditions for the success of the Geneva talks if there is an understanding that the part of the radical opposition that keeps making preconditions, including a regime change, is influenced by those that control it.
It is important to exchange views on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. We note that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano stated in clear terms that Iran is fully complying with its commitments. We will continue upholding the viability of this programme and its major contribution to the consolidation of regional stability and the resolution of the issue of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We will also exchange opinions on other regional issues. Regrettably, the Middle East and Southwest Asia are not becoming more stable, and it is important for us to regularly coordinate our positions.