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February 6, 2018 11:27 am

Russian and Iranian Presidents Reaffirm Support for Nuclear Deal, Assad Regime in Syria

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at a November 2017 meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Photo: Reuters / Mikhail Klimentyev.

Russian and Iran emphatically restated their support on Tuesday for the JCPOA — the 2015 nuclear deal reached between the Tehran regime and six world powers — following a lengthy phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

“The parties are committed to the consistent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program, which is important for maintaining global peace and stability,” a joint statement following the call declared. Russia, Iran and the EU remain adamantly opposed to US President Donald Trump’s efforts to “fix” a deal which he insists is “deeply flawed,” both in terms of preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon as well as countering its ongoing ballistic missile tests.

The call between Putin and Rouhani was also an opportunity for both leaders to highlight their common strategic goals — particularly in Syria, where Russia and Iran remain the principal backers of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Rouhani told Putin that Iran “is opposed to the presence of foreign forces on Syrian soil without the permission of the country’s government and nation,” in a reference to the ongoing Turkish assault on Kurdish forces in Syria. Iran, meanwhile, maintains a significant military presence in Syria, bolstered with fighters from Iranian terrorist proxy organizations, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

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A broader discussion “of pressing issues concerning bilateral cooperation in various fields” between the two leaders included the war in Yemen and the “Palestine issue,” the state-run TASS news agency said.

Russia has intensified its bombing campaign against rebel-held towns and cities in the Idlib province of northern Syria over the last 48 hours, following the downing of a Russian warplane there on Sunday.

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