'Iran, Russia need to bolster ties in face of USA hegemony'

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran

Elsewhere, Velayati said that both Iran and Russian Federation highlighted the need to continue cooperation in the region to support the legitimate governments of Iraq and Syria; President Putin agrees that this cooperation should continue in both the defense and the political sphere, he added.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hailed his country's "strategic relationship" with Russian Federation ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The talks were also attended by Ali Asghar Fathi, the Leader's special advisor on worldwide affairs, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Kremlin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov.

Following the meeting, Velayati said his discussions with the Russian president were "highly constructive, transparent and friendly."

The Kremlin also said in a statement that Putin and Velayati exchanged views on bilateral Tehran-Moscow relations and the developments in the Middle East, including the Syria crisis.

Hamid AbuTalbi, an advisor to Iranian president Rouhani, commented on Velayati visit to Moscow adding that relations between the two countries is not a strategic one as Velayati describes it.

"Therefore, his presence or absence in Russian Federation has no effect on our strategic mission", he added.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said Velayati will also pay a visit to China to convey messages from Ayatollah Khamenei and Rouhani to Chinese leaders.

Trump and Putin are expected to discuss Iran's regional role and the Syrian conflict at a summit in Helsinki next Monday.

The meeting came as Iran braces for renewed USA economic sanctions after Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Tehran and world powers.

Facing revived sanctions from the United States and the possible knock-on collapse of its business dealings with Europe, Iran is looking to Russian Federation and China for investment and to purchase its oil.

According to The New Yorker, Israel has joined forces with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and suggested to Trump that the U.S. should offer to cancel the sanctions it imposed on Russia four years ago, following Russia's annexation of the Crimea, in exchange for Russian action to remove Iranian forces from Syria.

Tehran has conditioned its stay in the deal to practical European strides to make sure Iran's dividends from the deal would not be affected when United States sanctions "snap back" in August.

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