President Vladmir Putin travelled to Iran for his first ever trip in international waters since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, met with Putin in Tehran, along with Recep Tayyib Erdogan, the president of Turkey. On Tuesday, Putin also conducted a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.

Putin said in a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Raisi “I am very pleased to be on the hospitable Iranian soil…We can boast about record figures in terms of trade growth.” He added, “We are strengthening our cooperation on international security issues, making a significant contribution to the settlement of the Syrian conflict.”

A “significant” commitment to security collaborative efforts between the two nations was acknowledged by Raisi, as he controversially stated Russia and Iran had “good experience” in combating terrorism.

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According to a statement from Shana, the news agency for Iran’s oil ministry, Russia’s state-run gas company Gazprom and Iran’s official oil company signed an agreement worth a staggering 40 billion dollars. This deal involves the construction of new gas export pipelines as well as the development of gas fields in Iran.

“World events show Iran and Russia’s need for increasing mutual cooperation,” Khamenei said in a statement, going on to describe Iran and Russia’s partnership as “deeply beneficial”.

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Khamenei also supported much of Putin’s rhetoric surrounding NATO, stating “NATO is a dangerous entity. The West is totally opposed to a strong, independent Russia. If the way is opened for NATO, it will recognize no limits.”

He also argued that the expansion of NATO must end. “If it hadn’t been stopped in Ukraine, it would have later started a similar war in Crimea”.

The Western world has been alarmed by Russia and Iran’s close alliance, especially as Putin is attempting to elevate offences on the ground in the East of Ukraine, after seizing territory of the Luhansk region and further isolating himself and his country from the free world.

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According to White House officials, It was also revealed that Iran may provide Russia with “hundreds” of weapons, including drones, to fight the war in Ukraine. Iran is also suspected of teaching Russian troops how to operate the drone weapons as soon as the end of July.

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