0613 GMT May 26, 2022
A “Strong Iran” was at the top of President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi’s agenda during his campaign for office. The realization of the election promise requires activities in various political, economic, diplomatic and military fields, all of which will be in the national interest and solve or reduce the problems of the people.
It is too early to judge the realization of the promise, and more time should be given to the president and his colleagues to implement their plans. But it is no exaggeration to say that Raeisi is on track to fulfill the agenda of a “Strong Iran,” or at least, he has had a good start in making Iran stronger.
The promotion of Iran’s observer state in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) into full membership in the first days of the new government, resumption of talks in Vienna to lift sanctions, the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to China, signing a contract for the implementation of a 25-year cooperation pact and, recently, Raeisi’s visit to Russia and his consultations with Vladimir Putin, along with diplomatic meetings of Iranian ministers with their counterparts from neighboring countries, all confirm that the 13th government is moving to fulfill its promises. Promises that should ultimately lead to an economic breakthrough, and the promotion of the Islamic Republic in the region and world.
Describing his talks in Russia, Raeisi said, “The two countries agreed in the first step to increase trade to $10 billion per annum.”
“The ground has been paved for a comprehensive cooperation agreement between the two countries and will be finalized soon,” he added.
Also, the economy ministers of Iran and Russia reviewed the joint projects, including how to use Russia’s $5-billion credit line, and stressed the need to develop economic relations in the future. Referring to talks with his Russian counterpart, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said, “More important agreements have been concluded than we expected.”
On Friday morning, when the Iranian president returned from his visit to Russia, the second joint Iranian-Russian-Chinese naval drill in three years, entitled, “Together for Peace and Security,” started in the North Indian Ocean.
On Friday, for the first time in a year, China, the world’s largest oil importer, released statistics showing that the country imported a total of 1.9 million barrels of oil from Iran in December despite US sanctions. The result of these diplomatic actions is the development of cooperation and moving in the direction of strategic relations with Russia and China as two powerful countries in the East.
Kazem Jalali, Iran’s ambassador to Russia, wrote in a note to Iran Daily on Thursday: “If these three countries work together, given the population and economy of China, the population and strategic position and power of Iran, and given the military, defensive and offensive power of Russia, they can form together a powerful bloc in the world.”
The development of Iran’s relations with Russia and China, and the emphasis on the signing and implementation of long-term cooperation pacts of Tehran-Moscow and Tehran-Beijing, will also enhance Iran’s diplomatic position in the region and the world. For example, Saudi Arabia, after several years of having no diplomatic relations with Iran, is now in talks to establish relations and reopen its embassy in Tehran.
According to experts, strengthening Iran’s relations with Russia and China will also have a positive impact on the Vienna talks on lifting US sanctions against Iran. All these developments are contrary to the policy of “isolation of Iran” that the US pursues with a plan of “maximum pressure”.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is not only not isolated, but with its active diplomacy has become the center of diplomatic discussions in the region and the East. There are consultations aimed at forming new coalitions to play a greater role in regional and global developments, and to reach economic breakthroughs to make Iran stronger.
*Ebrahim Beheshti is a staff writer at Iran Daily.