(Photo credit: Iranian Presidency)
The Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on 9 November, where they discussed bolstering trade relations and security cooperation between Russia and the Islamic Republic, especially in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The meeting centered around “various issues of Russian-Iranian cooperation in the field of security, as well as a number of international problems,” Russian media reported.
During his visit, Patrushev also met with Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Expanding bilateral and regional cooperation, especially with neighboring countries in the economic field, is one of the strategic priorities of our country,” Shamkhani told Patrushev, especially in light of harsh US sanctions which affect both Moscow and Tehran.
He also emphasized the importance of energy, transportation, agriculture, and banking cooperation between the two countries.
On the subject of the war in Ukraine, the Iranian official said: “Iran welcomes and supports any initiative that leads to a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine based on dialogue, and is ready to play a role in ending the war.”
Recently, relations between Tehran and Kiev have deteriorated significantly over Iran’s supply of drones to Russia. On 5 November, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian admitted that Iran has supplied Russia with drones, but stated explicitly that this took place before the start of the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky referred to his statement as a “lie,” and has called for Iran to be “punished.”
Iran has called for talks with Ukraine in order to discuss and clarify the matter. Abdollahian revealed that representatives from both countries had agreed to meet over two weeks ago in Europe regarding the issue, but that Washington and Berlin pressured Kiev into suspending the meeting.
During Shamkhani’s meeting with Patrushev, the issue of the Islamic Republic’s internal security also came up, especially regarding the nationwide protests, which were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Many of these protests quickly evolved into violent riots.
Patrushev confirmed to Shamkhani that western intelligence agencies have been instrumental in organizing these violent riots, as well as “the subsequent spread of misinformation about the situation in the country.”
During an interview with BBC Persia on 7 November, former US national security advisor John Bolton admitted to foreign intervention in Iran, revealing that armed separatist groups are using weapons smuggled into the country from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR).
He also expressed hope that the situation would lead to illegal regime change in Iran.