15:51 GMT26 November 2020
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    On November 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying an official visit to Iran to discuss the situation in the Middle East and bilateral ties between the two countries. With this in mind, Sputnik recalls two other trips of the Russian leader to the Islamic Republic during his presidency.

    Visit 1.

    When and where: October 16, 2007. Tehran.

    Purpose of the visit: to take part in the Second summit of the Caspian Sea countries

    Whom did the Russian leader meet with? Vladimir Putin met with the Supreme Leader of Iran, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    October 16, 2007. Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meet at Saadabad Palace in Tehran. (File)
    © Sputnik / POOL
    October 16, 2007. Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meet at Saadabad Palace in Tehran. (File)

    What did the parties agree upon? The Russian and Iranian leaders confirmed their intention to develop cooperation in various fields, including nuclear energy. They also pointed out that it was necessary to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear program through negotiations and dialogue.

    Particular attention was paid to bilateral cooperation in the sphere of extraction and transportation of energy resources. Putin and Ahmadinejad also expressed satisfaction with the signing of a contract for the delivery of five Russian Tu-204-100 aircraft to Iran.

    In addition, the parties decided to resume the work of Consulate General of Russia in Rasht and open a Consulate General of Iran in Kazan. The two heads of state made a corresponding statement at the end of the talks in Tehran.

    Why was the visit remarkable? Vladimir Putin's visit was the first visit of a Russian president to Iran in the history of relations between the two countries. Prior to Putin, no Soviet or Russian leader had even been to Iran since the Tehran Conference in 1943.

    Visit 2.

    When and where: November 23, 2015. Tehran

    Purpose of the visit: to take part in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum

    Whom did the Russian leader meet with? Vladimir Putin met the Supreme Leader of Iran, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

    November 23, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani meet prior to the summit of the heads of state and government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Tehran. (File)
    © Sputnik / Sergey Guneev/POOL
    November 23, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani meet prior to the summit of the heads of state and government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Tehran. (File)

    What did the parties agree upon? Russia pledged its readiness to give Iran a $ 5 billion loan to intensify industrial cooperation. Moscow and Tehran selected 35 priority projects in various economic fields and signed a number of agreements, including a contract between the ISC Russian Railways and the Iranian railway company on the construction of the Garmsar — Ince Burun electrification project. The parties also signed an agreement on the construction of a thermal power plant and a desalination plant near Bandar Abbas.

    In addition, Putin said that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) would consider the possibility of creating a free trade zone with Iran. He also noted that Moscow and Tehran will expand cooperation in the area of trade.

    With regard to the Syrian crisis, Putin and Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei agreed that the Syrian people should themselves to decide on the fate of Syrian leader Bashar Assad, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    Why was the visit remarkable? The main event of the visit — the meeting between Vladimir Putin with the Iranian religious leader Ali Khamenei — took place behind closed doors. It was the second time to two of them spoke tete-a-tete.

    The Putin-Khamenei meeting led to a standoff between Russian and Iranian journalists. It almost came to blows between photographers "from the two camps" as all of them were angling for the first shot.

    What to Expect Next:

    The third meeting between Russian and Iranian leaders, that is currently taking place in Tehran, is expected to contribute to closer cooperation between the two countries in the resolution of the Syrian crisis. This includes not only military aspects, but also efforts to restore the war-torn country, Ahmad Vahshiteh, a specialist on Russian-Iranian relations, talked Sputnik earlier.

    November 1, 2017. President Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, right, during a meeting in Tehran
    © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
    November 1, 2017. President Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, right, during a meeting in Tehran

    For his part, Dr. Hamid Reza Azizi, a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Iran and Eurasia (IRAS) expressed hope that the parties will also discuss cooperation in the Caspian Sea as well as aspects concerning the North-South transport corridor. He also stressed that it's important to enhance the interaction of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in this context.

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    meeting, official visit, Vladimir Putin, Iran, Russia
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