Tehran (IP) - "Today, the banking messaging systems of Iran and Russia are completely connected to each other," Iranian Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi said in an interview with Russia’s RIA state news agency

Iran PressIran news: Iran is ready to expand its cooperation with Russia in the energy sector, including in the development of “peaceful” nuclear energy, Minister Khandouzi said.

“The prospect of cooperation in the field of ‘new energy’ and renewable energy sources, as well as in the field of other types of energy, including peaceful nuclear energy, certainly causes great interest and motivation for expanding economic relations with Russia,” Khandouzi said in remarks published on Tuesday.

Iran and Russia are cooperating to build Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. Russia started delivering nuclear fuel for the Bushehr power plant in late 2007.

Iran counts on "huge volumes" of oil and gas swaps from Russia this year, the Iranian Economy Minister said, adding: "This year will witness huge volumes of swap supplies. We are very pleased that Tehran and Moscow have started cooperation on the issue of swap supplies of oil and gas."

The Minister of Economic Affairs also said: "Today, the banking messaging systems of Iran and Russia are completely connected to each other, and the banks of both sides will soon be able to open bank accounts by creating legal infrastructure."

Regarding the expansion of banking and customs relations between Iran and Russia, Iran's minister said: "In 11 months of last year, more than 1,277,000 tons of commodities were exported to Russia and 2,870,000 tons were imported from Russia, which has a huge increase compared to last year."

"In order for other countries not to create obstacles in the economic relations between Iran and its partners, we had to expand mutual monetary systems between Iran and them. It means that we are removing the banking and currency barriers between Iran and Russia and we can use a greater banking and monetary integration for our transactions, without the need to SWIFT and other financial mechanisms," the minister underscored.

Talking about the participation of the Russian Railways in the construction of a part of the Rasht-Astara railway, Khandouzi said: "Part of the project will be constructed by Russia and the other part by the Iranian company. Considering the emphasis of the presidents of the two countries on reopening the corridor, we hope to be able to inaugurate it before the current Iranian administration ends its four-year term."

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Regarding Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the attempt to join BRICS and its impact on Iran's economy, the economic spokesman of the government said: "The future of the world will be regionalism and multilateralism, not unilateralism. Regional agreements, especially with important regional partners such as SCO or BRICS, are the things that the world economy will be based on in the coming decades."

"Three of the five members of BRICS are also the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and apart from Russia and China, the Islamic Republic of Iran has good relations with the other two members, namely Brazil and South Africa, and this will help to strengthen Iran's relations with them," added economy minister.

Regarding Iran's relations with Africa and helping Africa to strengthen its relations with Russia in the era of sanctions, Khandouzi said: "It has been more than ten years since America imposed new sanctions against Iran, but Iranian companies have been able to increase their business with others. We are ready to share these experiences with our other strategic partners. This year, our non-oil exports have been more than in all previous years. Therefore, despite the fact that we have been able to set new records in foreign trade, we believe that if we use the capacities of our neighbors and partners, we will be able to help Iran's economic growth faster."


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