Iran continues to aid Russia’s war effort – but US still wants nuclear deal

Nasser Kanani, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said that cooperation with Russia “in the field of some modern technologies predates the war in Ukraine, and there have been no particular developments in this regard recently”.

The trip to Tehran will be Mr Putin’s second foreign trip since he ordered his armies to invade Ukraine in February and could be used to swap advice on how to survive extreme Western sanctions and also to form an anti-Western bloc.

The United States has imposed various sanctions on Iran since the 1979 revolution, but Russia overtook it as the world’s most sanctioned country after Mr Putin invaded Ukraine.

Iran ‘serious’ about economic cooperation with Russia

In June, Mr. Putin traveled to former Soviet Central Asia, first to Tajikistan and then to Turkmenistan, to rally support for his war and attend a meeting on the status of the Caspian Sea.

Mr. Raisi also attended the Caspian Sea meeting in Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital, on June 29, and met with Mr. Putin on the sidelines of the summit.

Relations between Russia and Iran have grown increasingly close over the past decade, buoyed by their fractured ties with the West and a desire to improve economic ties.

Mr. Raisi traveled to Moscow for talks in January, which Iranian officials said were positive.

“Very favorable agreements were signed during this trip,” said Mohammadreza Pour-Ebrahimi, an Iranian lawmaker. “The government of the Islamic Republic is serious about economic cooperation with Russia.”

Mr. Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday, then travel to Saudi Arabia. Iran’s nuclear program and its funding of proxy militants in the region will be a key topic of discussion.

Amid speculation of a breakthrough in relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, White House officials have sought to downplay expectations for Mr Biden’s visit. Getting a normalization treaty between the two countries would be a “long process,” said Jake Sullivan, a national security adviser.

France’s new foreign minister said on Wednesday there were only weeks left before the window of opportunity closed to relaunch the Iran nuclear deal.