May 30, 2023

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Iran boosts diplomatic ties amid tensions with the West

TEHRAN – Hours after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro departed Tehran, a senior Iranian diplomat announced that Tehran will be hosting a number of other high-level delegations in the coming days.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said three foreign officials including a president, will soon arrive in Tehran for diplomatic talks. 

He said Pakistan’s foreign minister is due in Tehran on Tuesday. And the president of Turkmenistan will also be in Tehran in the coming days. In addition, the speaker of the Armenian Parliament is also traveling to Tehran this week. 

These visits show Iran is not isolated. Following the adoption of a censure resolution against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors last week, some Western media outlets and analysts claimed that Iran is facing growing isolation due to the pause in talks in Vienna over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The resolution mustered support from 30 member states. It was opposed by Russia and China while the three remaining countries – Pakistan, India, and Libya – abstained from voting. 

The resolution was vehemently rejected by Iran as politically-motivated and influenced by Israel. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deplores the approval of a resolution drafted by the U.S., Britain, France and Germany at the IAEA Board of Governors as a political, wrong and unconstructive move,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in reaction to the resolution.

But even the voting numbers in the Board of Governors showed the effectiveness of Iranian diplomacy. Interestingly, India and Pakistan both abstained from voting despite the fact that the two nuclear states rarely agree on certain things. That wasn’t a fluke of nature. Instead, it was a result of intensive diplomacy with both states. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian traveled to India last week and held high-level talks with the Indian leaders. In his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amir Abdollahian underlined the shared views of Iran and India in the talks. On the other hand, the Indian premier pointed to the existing bilateral agreements in various fields. Modi announced his country’s readiness to strengthen cooperation with Iran, especially with regard to transit routes.

In addition to the flurry of diplomatic visits to Tehran expected to take place in the coming days, the Iranian foreign minister also plans to resume his trips next week, according to Khatibzadeh. Amir Abdollahian will pay visits to a number of African countries. 

The spokesman said several meetings will be held in Iran in the next Iranian calendar month, which starts on June 22. 

In addition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is also expected to visit Iran. Khatibzadeh said this visit will take place and its date will be announced in time. Russia confirmed that such a visit is under consideration. The Russian Foreign Ministry said preparations are underway for the visit, according to Russian media. 
Earlier this month, Amir Abdollahian and Lavrov spoke over the phone and exchanged views on the most important bilateral, regional and international issues.

Amir Abdollahian and Lavrov discussed the latest state of ties between Tehran and Moscow and followed up various issues resulting from talks between the presidents of the two countries.

In the telephone conversation, Lavrov said he was pleased with his future official visit to Iran and noted that relations and cooperation between Tehran and Moscow are expanding in all spheres. 

Amir Abdollahian and Lavrov held consultations over the inclusive document of the Iran-Russia cooperation, ways of boosting economic cooperation between the private and public sectors of the two countries, the forthcoming summit of the Caspian Sea states, the upcoming visit of the top Russian diplomat to Tehran, and the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.


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