Kremlin says Russia and Iran continuing work on cooperation pact, schedule may shift

Russian President Putin meets international news agency editors in St Petersburg

MOSOCW/DUBAI (Reuters) - Moscow and Tehran are continuing their work on a comprehensive bilateral cooperation agreement, although the schedule of specific events may shift, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, adding Russia intended to develop ties with Iran.

Earlier Russia's RIA state news agency reported that the agreement had been temporarily suspended due to problems faced by Iranian partners, however Iran's ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali said this was not the case, according to a statement carried by Iran's official news agency IRNA.

Since the state of the war in Ukraine, Russia has moved to strengthen its political, trade and military ties with Iran in a deepening relationship that the United States and Israel view with concern.

Moscow and Tehran are pushing against what they see as damaging U.S. foreign policy and want to establish what they say would be a fairer multipolar world order.

Work on a new major agreement between Moscow and Tehran was announced in September 2022 during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the late President of the Islamic Republic Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed when his helicopter crashed in May.

In January, Russia's Foreign Ministry had said a new interstate treaty reflecting the "unprecedented upswing" in Russia-Iran ties was in the final stages of being agreed, and Putin and Raisi were expected to sign it soon.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne and Elwely Elwelly in Dubai; Editing by Sonali Paul, Miral Fahmy, Alexandra Hudson)