Joint Russian-Iranian Communique

March 15, 2001

At the official invitation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyed Mohammad Khatami, paid a visit to the Russian Federation from March 12 to March 15, 2001. Apart from the two rounds of talks between the Presidents of Russia and Iran, Khatami had meetings and talks with Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kasyanov, and Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Gennady Seleznyov. Khatami received Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov.

In the atmosphere of confidentiality and mutual understanding, the Heads of State held a frank exchange of views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international questions. Satisfaction was expressed at the achieved level of the political dialogue and bilateral contacts, and an intention was stated to impart a substantial impetus to the development of trade and economic relations. It was reiterated that mutually beneficial cooperation in the political, economic, scientific, technological, cultural and other fields, as well as on the international scene meets the national interests of the two countries and plays an important role in the maintenance of peace and stability at the regional and global levels. A determination was stated to promote further the onward development of many-sided Russian-Iranian relations.

In the context of mutual interest in expanding cooperation in trade, economy and industry, the sides considered the specific aspects of measures the implementation of which will contribute to substantial progress in these fields. Questions of developing a mechanism for financing bilateral cooperation projects, primarily in aircraft manufacturing, power engineering, and the oil and gas industry were discussed.

Instructions were given to the heads of the Russian and Iranian parts of the Permanent Russian-Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation to step up work on the implementation of the Protocol of its third meeting. It was deemed necessary to proceed with the creation of favorable legal, economic and financial conditions for bilateral commercial activity and joint capital investments in Russia and Iran.

An agreement on the construction of the Tabas thermal power station and development of the Mazino coal field in Iran, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Development, Manufacturing and Launching of the Geostationary Civilian Telecommunications Satellite Zokhre were signed between the appropriate Russian and Iranian organizations.

The two countries' Presidents gave instructions to the Technological Cooperation Directorate of the Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of Russia and other Russian ministries and departments to prepare a new agreement on scientific and technological cooperation in addition to the one signed on September 15, 1999.

The sides welcomed the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Establishment of the North-South Transport Corridor and came out in favor of its earliest ratification and entry into force.

They confirmed that the cooperation of Russia and Iran in the military technological field is not directed against third countries and pursues the aims of the strengthening of security and promotion of stability in the region.

The sides will continue cooperation in the field of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In this context Russia and Iran confirmed their adherence to the obligations arising from their participation in the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Presidents of the two countries, noting the importance of implementing the August 25, 1992, Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy gave an instruction to the respective ministries and departments to prepare a joint Russian-Iranian Statement on the Principles of Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy.

Both sides reiterated their intention to continue cooperation in creating a stable, safe, equitable and democratic system of international relations based on the supremacy of law, mutually beneficial cooperation and the participation of all members of the international community in the settlement of global peace problems.

The Russian side gave a high assessment to the initiative advanced by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and supported by the UN for the proclamation of 2001 as the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations. The Iranian side backed the Concept of the World in the 21st Century, proposed by Russia. In view of the importance of the dialogue among civilizations as a paradigm of international relations, the sides expressed an intention to develop cooperation in the encouragement and expansion of the dialogue, and the enhancement of the mutual understanding between different cultures and civilizations.

The sides underscored the key role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, and reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and spoke against the use or threat of force in violation of the Charter and in circumvention of the UN Security Council, as well as against interference in the internal affairs of other states on the ground of "humanitarian intervention" or "limited sovereignty."

The sides confirmed their intention to continue and deepen coordination and cooperation on topical world problems within the United Nations and other international forums of which they are participants.

They stated the importance of the close cooperation of all states to achieve general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, especially in the field of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction, as well as of undeviating observance of the relevant treaties and complete fulfillment of the obligations assumed.

In discussing regional issues, special attention was paid to the prospects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the Caspian. The sides expressed themselves for the earliest finding of acceptable solutions for all the Caspian states on the question of determining a legal regime for the Caspian. They believe that all problems in this region should be dealt with by the countries located here on the basis of consensus, without interference by non-regional forces.

The sides emphasized their concern over the conflicts in Central Asia and in Transcaucasia, which hinder states' normal development and their close cooperation, and they expressed interest in settling those conflicts and ensuring the security and stability of Central Asia and Transcaucasia.

The sides hailed the completion of the process of a political settlement and the establishment of national accord in Tajikistan, and came out in support of that country's leadership's course for the accomplishment of the task of post-conflict peacebuilding, including reconstruction and upsurge of the economy and the social sector, development of democratic institutions, and pursuit of social and economic transformations.

From similar or identical positions the sides exchanged views on the situation in and around Afghanistan. It was noted that a peaceful settlement through an inter-Afghan political dialogue, with a view to the formation of a widely representative and multi-ethnic government, is the only possible way out of the fratricidal civil war in that country.

The sides, expressing regret over the plight of the Afghan people and calling on the world community to render assistance in alleviating the lot of the Afghan people, denounced the extremism of the leaders of the Taliban movement, who have not abandoned their plans for a military solution to the Afghan problem, their unwillingness to cease their support of international terrorism and the illegal traffic in narcotics, and the carrying out by the Taliban of massive ethnic cleansings and their gross violation of the norms of international humanitarian law. The importance of the strict implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1333, to create prerequisites for a peaceful resolution of the Afghan crisis, was underscored.

In discussing the situation around Iraq, the sides expressed themselves for the earliest bringing of Iraqi settlement out of the prevailing dead end without the use of methods of force and in full compliance with the rules and principles of international law. The most optimal scheme for de-blocking the situation around Iraq is a package approach envisaging a clear-cut prospect of the suspension, and then also lifting of sanctions, coupled with the deployment in that country of international disarmament monitoring.

The sides expressed their deep concern over the crisis situation that has developed around the Palestinian territories and spoke for a final settlement of the Palestinian problem enabling the people of Palestine to exercise their lawful right to self-determination and the creation of an independent state.

The sides also discussed a number of other international questions of mutual concern, including the situation in the Balkans.

During the visit, the Presidents signed the Treaty on the Foundations of Mutual Relations and the Principles of Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which confirms the high level of interaction between the two countries and lays the legal basis for bilateral relations in the 21st century, as well as the joint Statement on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

Seyed Mohammad Khatami made familiarization trips to St. Petersburg and Kazan.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Khatami invited President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to pay an official visit to Iran. This invitation was accepted with gratitude. The date of the visit will be agreed on through diplomatic channels.