Iran Brushes Off US’ Concerns over Cooperation with Russia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson dismissed the concern the US has expressed about the cooperation between Iran and its foreign partners, including Russia, after Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement to complete a railroad section of the North-South Corridor.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday, Nasser Kanaani said the US officials’ expression of concern over Iran’s interaction with other countries is “impermissible and rejected”.

The spokesman noted that the signing of an agreement, observed by the presidents of Iran and Russia, on the completion of the Rasht-Astara railroad, and the inauguration of joint border projects in the presence of the Iranian president and the prime minister of Pakistan are all part of Iran’s “neighbor-oriented strategy” that is based upon “cooperation for common security, development and welfare”.

His comments came after the US State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson voiced concern over the recent agreement between Iran and Russia on the construction of the Rasht-Astara railroad.

Vedant Patel said at a press briefing on May 17, “Any steps or any project being undertaken to go around sanctions is something that we of course would find deeply concerning.”

The agreement signed by Iran and Russia on Wednesday would facilitate the completion of a strategic part of the North-South Corridor, which stretches for 162 kilometers and connects Rasht in northern Iran to Astara in south of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Russia will reportedly make an investment of 1.6 billion euros in the railroad project, which is expected to come into operation within 48 months.

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