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Russia's Lavrov arrives in Iran to discuss nuclear deal, cooperation

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran on Wednesday, Iranian state TV reported, as world powers and Tehran are struggling to revive their 2015 nuclear pact amid stalled negotiations.

“During Lavrov's visit, Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, boosting bilateral and energy cooperation, as well as international and regional issues will be discussed,” Iranian state media reported.

Iranian State TV showed Lavrov meeting Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, but gave no details. Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday that Lavrov's visit was aimed at “expanding cooperation with the Eurasian region and the Caucasus.”

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Last month, Moscow said Russia and Iran - which are both under Western sanctions and sit on some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves - had discussed swapping supplies for oil and gas as well as setting up a logistics hub.

While Moscow is challenging Western sanctions over its military operation in Ukraine, Tehran's clerical rulers have been struggling to keep Iran's economy afloat amid crippling US sanctions that were reimposed after Washington exited Tehran's nuclear deal in 2018.

Indirect talks between Tehran and US President Joe Biden's administration to reinstate the pact have been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran's insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the US list of designated terrorist organizations.

Iran's state news agency IRNA said Lavrov would meet his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, on Thursday.

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