The Russian leader will meet President Raisi and Ayatollah Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, during talks aimed at strengthening ties between the regimes.
It is only the second time Putin has been abroad since he launched his brutality invasion of Ukraine five months ago.
The meeting comes amid warnings from the US last week that Iran is preparing to sell drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tehran plans to ship “hundreds” of combat drones to Moscow, and Iranian soldiers will train their Russian counterparts on how to use the drones — with classes starting in just a few weeks.
Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during their meeting in Turkmenistan last month
A Russian delegation visited an Iranian airfield on June 8 and July 5 to inspect drones that could be used to direct artillery fire and destroy Ukrainian military equipment, the White House said.
It has been hinted that Russia will offer unspecified military assistance in exchange for the drones.
The meeting is symbolic for Putin at home, and demonstrates Russia’s international influence as it becomes increasingly isolated and plunged deeper into confrontation with the West.
Russian state television propaganda Yevgeny Popov said the two nations formed an “axis of good” and ridiculed George W. Bush’s description of the “axis of evil” of Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
Andrey Kortunov, head of Russia’s International Affairs Council, said: “This is an important visit for Putin personally.
The Iranian army launches a drone with a missile expected to deliver to Russia during military exercises
“The Kremlin doesn’t want to be isolated internationally.”
It comes just days after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia – Iran’s main rivals in the region.
Iran has rapidly advanced its nuclear program since former President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal and reimposed crushing sanctions, while Russia has also issued frequent nuclear saber-rattling sessions against the West.
Cornered by the West and its regional rivals, Iran is pursuing uranium enrichment, cracking down on dissent and making headlines with optimistic, tough stances aimed at preventing Iran’s currency from crashing.
With no relaxation of sanctions in sight, Iran’s tactical partnership with Russia has turned into a partnership for survival, even as Moscow appears to be undercutting Tehran in black-market oil deals.
“Iran is (the) center of dynamic diplomacy,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on Twitter, adding that the meetings will “develop economic cooperation, focus on regional security through a political settlement… and ensure food security.” “.
A Russian delegation visited an Iranian airfield on June 8 and July 5 to inspect drones that could guide artillery fire and destroy Ukrainian military equipment
Fadahossein Maleki, a member of Iran’s parliament’s influential committee on national security and foreign policy, on Monday described Russia as Iran’s “most strategic partner”.
His comments belied decades of hostility that resulted from Russia’s occupation of Iran during World War II – and its refusal to leave afterward.
Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov called Iran “an important partner for Russia” in a briefing Monday and said the countries shared “a desire to take their ties to a new level of strategic partnership.”
During his fifth visit to Tehran, Putin will meet Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, with whom he has a “trustworthy dialogue,” Ushakov said.
He will also hold talks with President Raisi on issues such as the Tehran nuclear deal, of which Russia is a key signatory. The heads of state and government met in Moscow in January and again in Turkmenistan last month.
The talks between the three presidents will focus on the decades-old conflict in Syria, where Iran and Russia have backed President Bashar Assad’s government while Turkey has backed armed opposition factions.
Putin is also set to meet today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been trying to help broker talks with Ukraine
Russia intervened in the conflict in 2015, pooling its efforts with Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iranian forces, and using its air power to shore up Assad’s fledgling military and ultimately turn the tide in his favor.
Ushakov said the parties would discuss efforts to promote a political solution, while Erdogan is expected to heed Turkey’s threats of a new military offensive in northern Syria to drive US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters from its borders.
The operation is part of Turkey’s plans to create a security zone along its border with Syria, designed to encourage the voluntary return of Syrian refugees.
Russia firmly rejects the planned Turkish invasion, stressed Ushakov. Humanitarian issues in Syria have also come into focus since Russia last week used its veto power in the UN Security Council to force a six-month cut off on aid to 4.1 million people in rebel-held north-west Syria, instead of a year.
Talks on lifting a Russian blockade and introducing Ukrainian grain to world markets will also be on the agenda.
Last week, officials from the United Nations, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey reached a tentative agreement on some aspects of a deal to ensure the export of 22 million tons of much-needed grain and other agricultural products trapped by fighting in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports were.
Putin is also set to meet today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been trying to help broker talks on a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as negotiations on the release of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.
Turkey, a NATO member, has found itself pitted against Russia in bloody conflicts in Azerbaijan, Libya and Syria.
But Turkey has not imposed sanctions on the Kremlin, making it a much-needed partner for Moscow. Turkey, struggling with runaway inflation and a rapidly depreciating currency, also relies on the Russian market.