Rouhani, Putin discuss Syria crisis, nuclear deal

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin
The Iranian and Russian presidents have exchanged views on “current international issues” including the Geneva nuclear deal and the upcoming conference on the crisis in Syria.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, discussed in a Thursday phone call “the situation in Syria in the context of preparations for the Geneva II conference, and the implementation of agreements on the Iranian nuclear [energy] program.”

However, the Kremlin statement did not provide further details about the phone conversation between the two presidents.

Rouhani and Putin’s talks come as Iran and the Sextet of world powers – Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany – are in talks on activating the recent nuclear deal inked between the two sides in Geneva on November 24, 2013.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi has left Tehran for Geneva to hold talks with Helga Schmid, a deputy for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The talks are scheduled for January 9-10.

The phone call between the Russian and Iranian presidents took place ahead of the upcoming peace conference, known as Geneva II, which is scheduled to open in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22. The meeting is designed to contain the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.

Russia, Syria and the UN have, on many occasions, underlined the necessity for Tehran’s presence in the international meeting on Syria, while the US and the so-called Syria opposition are against Iran’s participation in the negotiations.

Tehran says it will not accept any preconditions to attend the Geneva II talks on the ongoing violence in Syria, which has so far claimed over 100, 000 lives and displaced millions.


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