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Iran and Belarus sign cooperation roadmap in Lukashenko visit

The two presidents signed eight agreements on trade, mining and transportation.

Tehran, Iran – Iran and Belarus signed a cooperation roadmap document during a state visit by President Alexander Lukashenko to Tehran.

Lukashenko arrived in the Iranian capital late on Sunday and was officially received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday. The visit comes as the two countries celebrate 30 years of official diplomatic relations.

The two presidents and their delegations held talks, after which they signed eight agreements on trade, mining and transportation, among others.

“Today we agreed on a comprehensive roadmap between Iran and Belarus,” Raisi said at a joint conference with Lukashenko after the talks.

“This comprehensive roadmap between Iran and Belarus outlines the political and economic conditions and covers all areas of interest between the two countries.”

The Iranian president also stated that Tehran has turned the US and Western sanctions into opportunities for itself and is ready to share its experience of dealing with the sanctions with “friendly” Belarus. Both countries are against “unilateralism,” Raisi said.

Lukashenko also met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei.

“Countries sanctioned by the US should work together and form a joint collective to destroy the weapon of sanctions, and we believe this is achievable,” Khamenei told Lukashenko, according to his official website.

Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said sanctions could be turned into an opportunity, adding that he looked forward to expanding economic relations with Iran. The two agreed to set a target of $100 million for bilateral trade this year.

“Iran and Belarus both want to see a just, multipolar world,” Lukashenko said. “The two countries fully trust each other and their two nations also support the expansion of relations.”

The presidents did not mention Russia at the conference, which both see as a close ally, especially after the war in Ukraine.

Both are targets of Western sanctions, with Tehran blamed for sending armed drones to Russia for use in the war, something it has denied.

Belarus has been ruled by Lukashenko for 30 years. During that time, he has been accused by human rights groups of suppressing dissent, recently sentenced an opposition leader to 15 years in prison.