21:15 GMT +323 October 2018
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 28, 2017.

    Iran and Russia Step Up Cooperation, 'Bring Sanity to Global Conversation'

    © REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin
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    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Russia continues for a third and final day, and signals of increased cooperation between the two countries are being spotted.

    Political analyst and commentator Catherine Shakdam told Radio Sputnik's Brian Becker that the significance of the cooperation being consolidated between the two nations can't be overestimated.

    "Now you have Iran and Russia clearly making a stand, clearly standing together, and I think it's a good thing because you have the formation of another bloc that is not actually burdened by imperialism," Shakdam said during Becker's Loud & Clear broadcast.

    "It's a very close partnership, and it's important because it's not based on one trying to conquer the other or dictate to the other, it's really about cooperation. And it's something that I think has really driven Russia over the past decades. It's never been about imposing anything; it's always been about finding common ground and promoting common interest."

    She added that a general shift away from the West is more and more evident, with countries making strides outside the sphere of US control.

    "A lot of the time Russia has been portrayed in Western media as being on the verge of bankruptcy… and people can't just get over the 1980s," she explained.

    "Whenever they think ‘Russia,' they think ‘backwards' and they think ‘broke.' It's not the truth anymore. Reality is, Russia is an economic superpower, political superpower and a military superpower."

    The meeting between Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly largely focused on nurturing economic ties in the fields of energy and industry, with both sides — both major oil producers — pledging to continue efforts to stabilize the international market.

    "A lot of the time you see countries such as Saudi Arabia that have become very belligerent because they have kind of a grand monopoly of the world energy, and how oil is being sold and how it's being ferried. There's a lot of insidious power play, and I think that Russia is trying to break this," Shakdam said.

    "By engaging Iran, first of all, I think it's kind of politely telling Washington that sanctions and things like this will not work anymore, that we can't live in a world where countries are sidelined just because they don't agree politically or even because they choose to have a different system of governance."

    ​Shakdam pointed out that Tehran and Moscow have become leading forces in the Astana negotiation process that renders them, along with Turkey, guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire.

    The Iranian president said on Tuesday his country's close cooperation with Moscow was not intended as an aggressive stance directed at other nations.    


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