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Iran, Russia FMs sign key declaration on countering unilateral sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov pose for a picture after they sign a joint declaration on ways and means of countering foreign sanctions in Moscow on December 5, 2023.

Iran and Russia have signed an agreement to make joint efforts to counter unilateral sanctions imposed on the two countries.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at the end of a meeting in Moscow.

"We have just signed a declaration on ways and means to counteract, mitigate and compensate for the negative consequences of unilateral coercive measures," Lavrov said.

The Russian minister said this was an important step to "overcome the illegal sanctions that the United States and its allies have made as a substitute for diplomacy."

The agreement has officially been titled the Declaration of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran on ways and means of countering, softening and compensation of negative consequences of unilateral coercion measures, according to a report by Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

It came after the two ministers and their counterparts from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan attended a regular forum of Caspian Sea littoral states.

Iran and Russia have already made joint efforts to reduce the impacts of Western sanctions on their economies.

The cooperation increased in early 2022 when the United States and its allies imposed a raft of sanctions on Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Iran has been under US sanctions since 2018 when the then administration in Washington withdrew from an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program and imposed unilateral sanctions on the country.

Tehran and Moscow have yet to announce what specific measures they would adopt as part of the declaration signed on Tuesday to counter and compensate foreign sanctions.

Before signing the document, Amir-Abdollahian and Lavrov and their accompanying delegations met at the headquarters to the Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss latest developments in bilateral and international issues, according to a report by Iran’s official news agency (IRNA).

The report said a key part of the discussions was centered on joint efforts to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing conflict in Gaza where the Israeli regime is continuing with its one-sided war on the Palestinians.

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