Putin to host talks with Iran's President Raisi in Moscow
Updated 20:14, 18-Jan-2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin will host his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow on Wednesday, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The meeting will be the first visit by an Iranian president to Russia since 2017.

The leaders will discuss the "whole range of issues of bilateral cooperation," including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Raisi took office as Iran's president in August 2021. His visit to Russia comes at a crucial stage of talks to revive a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, including the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

The deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), lifted some sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

In May 2018, the administration of then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran gradually stopped implementing parts of its commitments to the agreement from May 2019.

Seven rounds of negotiations have been held in Vienna since April last year to iron out steps Iran and the U.S. must take in terms of nuclear activities and sanctions, respectively, to return to full compliance with the JCPOA. The eighth round of talks started on December 27.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that real progress had been achieved in the talks.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin. /Reuters)

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