TEHRAN, April 9. /TASS/. Members of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) are determined to develop both business ties and political cooperation with Iran through the parliamentary dimension thus contributing to the implementation of the relevant agreements reached by the two countries’ presidents, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told Iran’s television.
The speaker arrived in Tehran for an official visit on Monday, during which he will meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Speaker of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Ali Larijani and open a plenary meeting of the Russian-Iranian Business Forum. That will be Volodin’s fifth meeting with his Iranian counterpart over the past year and a half. The two politicians earlier held substantive conversations on numerous occasions, including at international parliamentary forums on combating terrorism and the drug threat.
"Thanks to our presidents’ efforts, cooperation between our countries is developing in many areas," Volodin said commenting on the key objectives of his visit to Tehran. "For us, this is a priority in the work of the parliaments - to make sure that we can create conditions for the development of our business and trade relations through the parliamentary dimension," he explained. In addition to promoting business projects, parliamentarians "are doing a lot to strengthen political relations between Russia and Iran," the speaker stressed.
Volodin expressed the hope that during the visit the Russian lawmakers "will be able to discuss numerous issues related to inter-parliamentary cooperation." In particular, it is planned to set up a high-level commission on cooperation between the State Duma and the Majlis co-chaired by their speakers. This interaction mechanism is used "only if there are prospects for developing relations with a substantive political agenda," the politician stressed.
During his visit, Volodin will also open a plenary meeting of the Russian-Iranian Business Forum. "The objectives of this visit include not only strengthening cooperation as part of specific projects presented by the Rosatom State Nuclear Corporation and Russian Railways," he went on to say. "The delegation includes representatives of the regions, which are actively working with Iran. These are the Astrakhan, Volgograd and Saratov Regions." These regions are the key suppliers to Iran, including in terms of agricultural products, Volodin stressed.
"Of course, we would like relations to develop at the regional level as well so that Iran’s provinces could cooperate with Russia’s regions," the speaker noted. "I do not rule out that we will discuss the issue of holding a meeting of the parliamentary commission this year, which we plan to set up tomorrow, in one of Russia’s regions. Perhaps, that will be Volgograd," he concluded.