Vladimir Putin. Picture: REUTERS
Vladimir Putin. Picture: REUTERS

Tehran — Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran on Wednesday to meet top leaders, as tension between Tehran and Washington mounts over a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.

State TV reported that the issues Putin would discuss with Iranian officials included regional crises such as the Syrian conflict, the nuclear deal and economic and bilateral ties.

Moscow and Washington are at odds over an array of issues and Russia has criticised US President Donald Trump’s decision not to certify the nuclear deal on October 13.

Russia and Iran are allies in Syria and the main backers of President Bashar al-Assad, while the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states support opposition groups seeking to overthrow him.

Putin will also take part in a summit with his Iranian and Azerbaijani counterparts, Hassan Rouhani and Ilham Aliyev.

Putin is to hold separate talks with Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as Russia and Iran co-operate on a range of issues including the conflict in Syria.

The Kremlin said Syria would be a focus of the talks, which come after Russia, Turkey and Iran pledged in Kazakhstan on Tuesday to bring the Syrian regime and its opponents together, for a "congress" to push peace efforts.

Russia, Iran and Turkey, which back Syrian rebels, have organised a series of peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana in 2017, agreeing on the establishment of "de-escalation" zones in various parts of the war-torn country.

Reuters and AFP

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