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Putin makes a rare international trip to Iran

Putin makes a rare international trip to Iran

On his second overseas trip since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the presidents of Turkey and Iran on Tuesday in Tehran. 

Unblocking grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea was a top priority; Mr. Putin said that progress had been made. 

Also brought up was the Syrian civil war, in which historically Russia and Turkey have supported different factions. 

The conference offered Mr. Putin the chance to demonstrate that he still has allies abroad. 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said after he meets with the Russian president that Tehran and Moscow should deepen their ties and that the West was to blame for the conflict in Ukraine. 

Mr. Khamenei warned Mr. Putin, “If you did not take the initiative, the other side would have caused the war with its own initiative,” 

Mr. Putin also met with the president of Turkey, a member of NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Tehran for the first time since the war began.

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The presidents of the three nations also spoke about the protracted conflict in Syria, where Turkey supports opposition forces while Iran and Russia back President Bashar al-Assad. 

Iran and Russia both reject Turkey’s intention to launch a new offensive in northern Syria against US-backed Kurdish terrorists. The operation is a part of Mr. Erdogan’s ambitions to establish a safe zone along Turkey’s border with Syria for 30 kilometers (20 miles).

Mr. Erdogan stated that in the “war against terrorism,” he expected support from Russia and Iran.

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