Kazem Jalali, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow

Large Russian Delegation To Visit Iran Next Week

Friday, 02/23/2024

Amid reports of Tehran selling ballistic missiles to Moscow, a high-level Russian delegation is set to visit Iran next week for an event branded as Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation.

The delegation, which will consist of about 160-170 directors and experts from various ministries, government organizations, and private sector entities in Russia, is expected to arrive in Tehran on Monday, February 26.

Kazem Jalali, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow, expressed hope that the executive agreement for the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, one of the most important projects between the two countries, will be signed in Tehran after the remaining issues are resolved.

The Rasht-Astara connection is seen as an important link in the corridor that will connect India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, and other countries by rail and by sea. The 162 km railway along the Caspian Sea coast will will be an extension of railways from Russian ports on the Baltic Sea to Iranian ports on the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

The visit comes amid reports that Iran is selling ballistic missiles to Russia. The United States has condemned the reported sale as "dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine, warning of “swift and severe response from the international community.”

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the Biden administration will impose more sanctions on Iran for supplying drones to Russia, and it would go even “further” if it’s established that Iran has given Russia ballistic missiles, implying that the US government is yet to see clear evidence of that.

Iran and Russia are the two countries with the greatest number of US sanctions against them. The United States on Friday imposed extensive sanctions against Russia, targeting more than 500 people and entities to mark the second anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and retaliate for the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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