Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said his country “is very serious” about nuclear talks with world powers.

Raisi highlighted the need to conclude a new comprehensive agreement with Russia. "We are ready to conclude the document on long-term comprehensive cooperation between the two countries in order to accelerate the process of the further expansion of bilateral interaction," Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

The two presidents touched upon a series of regional issues, including Afghanistan and tension in the South Caucasus, the official IRNA news website said.

Rouhani also thanked Putin for Russia’s positions on Iran’s nuclear issue and the lifting of US sanctions, saying that Tehran insists on removing them.

Multilateral talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran are scheduled to resume in less than two weeks. Iran interrupted its participation in the talks in June and after a five-month delay and pressure by the West it has finally agreed to return to negotiations.

Raisi also thanked Russia for its efforts for “stability and calm in southern Caucasus, where after a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan last year tensions remain high. IRNA said the two sides emphasized that any geopolitical change of international borders in that region would not be acceptable.

Putin promised to expedite a 20-year cooperation agreement with Iran and help boost the level of bilateral economic and trade ties. He also highlighted cooperation in Syria and said, “We succeeded with a lot of effort to save Syria’s independence and destroy the nucleus of terrorists in that country’” IRNA reported.

Russia’s Tass news agency said that Raisi spoke about shared interests and emphasized that "the positions of Tehran and Moscow are close on many international issues. Opposing the unilateral approach and boosting multipolarity are the common features of the two states.”

Iran’s existing cooperation agreement with Russia dates to 2001 and it has been extended every five years, but last year Tehran asked to review and expand the agreement.

With its economy under the pressure of US sanctions, Iran has been trumpeting the need to expand ties with “the East”, meaning mainly Russia and China. It has also signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing.

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