On March 10-12, 2003 (Esfand 19-21, 1381) Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov paid an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) at the invitation of Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi.
Ivanov was received by Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, met with Speaker of the Assembly of the Islamic Council (Parliament) of the IRI Mahdi Karrubi, Chairman of the State Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Secretary of the Supreme Council of National Security of the IRI Hassan Rouhani, and held talks with Kamal Kharrazi.
A thorough and frank exchange of views on pressing bilateral, regional and international questions took place. The sides reiterated their invariable intention to strengthen the friendly and good-neighborly partnership between Russia and Iran in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Treaty on Foundations of Relations and Principles of Cooperation, signed in Moscow on March 12, 2001 (Esfand 22, 1379). Taking into account the invitation earlier conveyed and accepted by the Russian side from President of the Islamic Republic of Iran S. M. Khatami to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to visit Iran, the sides presume that the future visit will make a weighty contribution to the cause of strengthening Russian-Iranian relations.
Mutual desire was expressed to expand political contacts between the two countries, including the productive inter-MFA consultations on a broad range of questions.
The substantial intensification of Russian-Iranian inter-parliamentary ties was noted. The sides spoke for the carrying out in the current year of the official visit to Russia of Speaker of the Assembly of the Islamic Council (Parliament) of Iran Mahdi Karrubi at the invitation of Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Gennady Seleznyov.
In discussing questions of economic cooperation there were highlighted the successful completion of the work of the OAO Gazprom within the framework of the international consortium on the project for the development of the second and third stages of the Southern Pars Gas Field, the implementation in accordance with the agreed schedule of the project for the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, the measures for developing the International North-South Transport Corridor, and the mutual interest of the sides in the joint implementation of the project for the creation of an Iranian Zohreh national satellite communications system for civilian applications based on a geostationary satellite.
There was stressed the necessity to build up efforts for the further development of trade-and-economic relations, especially in such fields as prospecting for and the extraction and transportation of energy carriers, energy construction, civil aviation and aircraft manufacturing, peaceful uses of outer space, transport and telecommunications, and banking and insurance activities. A weighty contribution to this work, in the mutual conviction of the sides, is to be made by the holding on March 16-18, this year, in Teheran of the 4th meeting of the Permanent Russian-Iranian Commission on Trade-and-Economic Cooperation, which is to consider and approve the draft of a long-term program of such cooperation for the next decade.
The sides expressed satisfaction with the onward development of interregional cooperation between subjects of the Russian Federation and provinces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Recognizing the importance of strengthening the traditional contacts in the field of culture and consolidating the long-standing historical ties between the peoples of the two countries, the sides spoke for the earliest possible signing of a Russian-Iranian memorandum on the development of cultural links.
After discussing the two countries' cooperation on important regional questions, the sides noted the necessity of continuing and expanding consultations on the settlement of regional crises, on cooperation within the framework of regional organizations and on steps in the area of security and declared their readiness to redouble efforts for the elaboration of a model of regional cooperation in the fields of security and the economy.
During discussion of regional and international problems, there were confirmed the identity or similarity of the approaches of Russia and Iran to key issues in world politics, and their mutual adherence to the ideas of a multipolar world pattern and the dialogue among civilizations, of the central UN role in international affairs, of the supremacy of international law in resolving crisis situations, of strengthening the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and IAEA safeguards regime, as well as other regimes for the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and of the prevention of an arms race in space.
The sides noted that international terrorism, extremism, separatism, organized crime, and illicit arms and drug trafficking present one of the gravest threats to international peace, security and stability. The sides also emphasized that terrorism is not linked to any particular culture, religion or people.
Russia and Iran unconditionally reject and condemn any acts of terrorism regardless of their motivation, wherever and by whosoever committed. Counteraction against terrorism requires the participation of all members of the international community, the elaboration of common approaches and the investigation of all the cases of terrorism, including its root causes. In this connection the sides noted the decisive role of the United Nations.
The sides reject any unilateral, selective steps against terrorism and a double approach towards it. Bringing groundless accusations against others under the pretext of combating terrorism is contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other rules of international law.
The sides spoke in favor of the intensification of efforts for the preparation in the UN of the Draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and Comprehensive Convention Against International Terrorism.
The sides gave a positive assessment to the creation of a mechanism of regular Russian-Iranian inter-MFA consultations on antiterrorist problems.
Expressing concern over the mounting tension around Iraq, which is fraught with serious adverse consequences extending beyond the region, the sides firmly spoke for a resolution of the crisis situation around Iraq by politico-diplomatic means. Russia and Iran presume that the inspection activity launched in Iraq by UNMOVIC and IAEA has reached definite progress and should continue. The sides agreed to continue close contacts for assistance to the completion of the process of the disarmament of Iraq by peaceful means on the basis of the principles of the United Nations Charter and UNSCR 1441.
In the course of the discussion of the situation in Afghanistan the lingering threat to security in the country was noted. The sides expressed concern over the efforts by former members of the Taliban movement and Al-Qaida, directed to the restoration of their structures, as well as the preservation of ties with foreign sponsors. Of particular concern to the sides is the increased production in Afghanistan of drugs and their illicit trafficking to contiguous countries. They spoke in favor of developing under UN auspices a comprehensive strategy for countering the narco-threat emanating from the territory of Afghanistan. Russia and Iran will continue support of the Transitional Authority of Afghanistan in its efforts for the restoration of peace and the ensuring of security in the country and for the reconstruction of its economic and social infrastructure.
During discussion of the state of affairs in South Asia, the sides emphasized the need for consistent sincere efforts by the concerned parties for the creation of prerequisites for a resumption of the dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve all the outstanding issues between them on the basis of impartiality and justice.
Concern over the developments in the Middle East was expressed. The sides emphasized that the mounting tensions in the Gulf area should not distract attention from the task of achieving an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
During discussion of Caspian problems, the sides underlined the significance of a consensus solution of all the issues pertaining to the Caspian Sea as a whole, and noted the importance of continued work within the framework of the Ad Hoc Working Group at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the five littoral states for the drafting of a Comprehensive Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.
Taking into consideration the uniqueness of the Caspian Sea, and the integrity and importance of its environment, the sides noted the necessity of concerted efforts by all littoral countries, aimed at preventing damage to the ecological system of the Caspian and preserving its biological diversity.
The sides declared that in the event of consent from the other Caspian states the next meeting of heads of Caspian states will be held in Teheran.
Igor Ivanov invited Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi to pay an official visit to Russia. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The date of the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels.