In Moscow, Iran’s Rouhani Commits to Alliance with Russia in Syria

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In his first official visit to Russia this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed an agreement with his counterpart Vladimir Putin on their commitment to a peace process in war-torn Syria, Voice of America reported.

Both Iran and Russia are supporting the Assad government in Syria, claiming their support will help defeat ISIS and other terrorists in that country. The U.S., meanwhile, supports the opposition to the Syrian regime — accused of killing its own people — in its effort to defeat terrorism.

In a joint statement, the two leaders expressed a renewed commitment to peace in Syria and vowed continued cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in facilitating negotiations between warring factions.

They called the cooperation “an important step on the road to the success of the Geneva negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.”

Euronews reported on Monday on how the alliance between Iran, Russia, and Turkey is playing out on the ground in Syria as the six-year-long civil war continues.

“A new group of leaders are in the ascendant in Syria, at least in the government-controlled areas,” Euronews wrote. “On the rubble strewn streets of newly recaptured Aleppo the posters of four leaders loom large: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Euronews’ report also noted that Syria is not the only thing Iran and Russia have in common.

“Both rely on large energy reserves to keep their economies well-oiled and neither want to see energy prices fall even further than they already have,” Euronews reported.

In December, Rouhani said Tehran and Moscow would continue to cooperate in the Syrian war “until the ultimate goal of eradicating terrorism and restoring peace and full security to the region is achieved.”

Rouhani’s remarks took place during a meeting in Tehran between Rouhani and Russia’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

In the meeting, Rouhani said that the only way to resolve the conflict in Syrian is through political dialogue, including respecting the will of the Syrian people in the process, according to IRNA.

The two leaders spoke about the increasing cooperation between their two countries on a range of other issues, including trade, in televised remarks following their meeting.

“This is truly a good result considering that it was achieved in unstable global conditions and amid persistent volatility on the commodity and currency markets,” Putin said, adding that trade between Iran and Russia has increased by 70 percent.