Moscow is satisfied with the present level of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is Russia's important regional partner in the Middle East and in the Asian continent on the whole, Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in connection with the upcoming visit by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to Iraq due on March 11-12.
In his view, Russian-Iranian relations today rest on a "sound contractual legal basis." It became possible due to the Agreement on Principles of Relations and Cooperation between the two countries signed in 2001 by the presidents of both countries and which took effect in 2002.
Yakovenko pointed out also that a constant political dialogue is maintained between the two countries. In particular, their foreign ministries are constantly in contact, exchanging views on most urgent problems of world and regional politics.
"One of the main components of the Russia-Iran relationship is trade and economic cooperation," the Foreign Ministry official spokesman said. The development of this cooperation has been stable. In 2002 trade between the two countries was on a level of $801.1 million and "there are reserves for continued growth," Yakovenko said.
The Tehran visit by Igor Ivanov will be made on the eve of a meeting of the regular Russian-Iranian commission on trade and economic cooperation that will be held there. "The upcoming political and economic high-level contacts with Iran will give an important impetus to the promotion of many-sided and mutually beneficial cooperation with that country," the Russian diplomat said in conclusion.