Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Russian Information Agency Novosti

Russian Information Agency Novosti: "RUSSIA PLAYS MAJOR ROLE IN IRAN'S FOREIGN POLICY


TEHRAN, November 10 (RIA Novosti's Nikolai Terekhov) - "Russia plays an important role in Iran's foreign policy, and Tehran has always sought strategic and all-round ties with the Russian Federation," Iranian Vice President Reza Aref said at a meeting with St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko, reports the president's administration.

"By removing certain obstacles and defining their private sectors' realistic potentials the two countries will intensify bilateral cooperation," said Mr Aref.

The Iranian government's special headquarters that handle Russian-Iranian trade and economic relations demonstrates Tehran's interest in promoting bilateral ties, according to Mr Aref.

Mr Aref expressed hope that trade turnover between Russia and Iran would exceed $5 billion in the future through employing their potentials and exchanging expertise.

Mr Aref said Petersburg was a major cultural and economic centre in Russia and urged more intensive contacts between Russian and Iranian regions, above all, in the trade, scientific and cultural spheres.

On Wednesday, Ms Matviyenko is expected to hold meetings with the authorities of Isfaghan, Petersburg's twin town."

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