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Russian Federation ready to invest up to $50bn in Iran's oil sector

14 July 2018

Argentina has asked Russian Federation to arrest former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati for extradition in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Iranian regime envoy Ali Akbar Velayati in Moscow. The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that Velayati handed Putin letters from Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"The relationship between Iran and the Russian Federation is a strategic relationship and in recent years the collective bilaterial and regional relations have expanded", Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Velayati as saying on arrival in Moscow. Washington says it will reimpose sanctions and has told other countries to halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face U.S. financial measures.

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As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad overcomes one of the last bastions of a 2011 uprising backed by the West, Turkey and Gulf Arab states, neighboring Israel has increasingly warned against perceived violations of the 1974 non-aggression pact between the two warring governments under the auspices of the United Nations.

Iran has also made moves to align closer with China, with Velayati expected to visit Beijing in the near future, Reuters reports.

Iran denies involvement and Velayati rejected the accusations as a lie in a 2015 interview with Argentine television channel C5N.

But European firms are reluctant to risk far-reaching USA financial penalties they would face for doing business in Iran.

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Ali Akbar Velayati, an global adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution who is in Russian Federation for an official visit, has shrugged off the concurrent trip to Russian Federation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying "nobody cares" about the Netanyahu's "baseless and illogical remarks".

Israel's military says that for the second time this week it fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that approached the country's border from Syria.

Velayati also said Iran and Russian Federation would "continue to cooperate in Syria", where both countries support President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the seven-year civil war there.

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Russian Federation ready to invest up to $50bn in Iran's oil sector