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Wednesday, August 31, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran, Russia agree to explore strategic ties

MOSCOW — Iran and Russia have agreed to enhance security cooperation.


Officials said the Kremlin has won Iranian approval to launch a strategic dialogue with the Teheran regime. They said the dialogue would be conducted at the highest level of government and address a range of threats.

"This involves new threats such as international terrorism, drug trafficking and others," Russian Security Council director Nikolai Patrushev said.

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During a visit to Teheran, Patrushev is said to have reached agreement with Iran to conduct an intelligence exchange as well as regular strategic sessions. He said Russia would also work with Iran on regional security cooperation.

"We have agreed on cooperation between our Security Council staffs," Patrushev said on Aug. 16.

This marked the first report of high-level security cooperation between Moscow and Teheran. Over the last 20 years, Russia has been a major weapons supplier as well as prime contractor of Iran's first nuclear energy reactor.

Officials said Russia would also help Iran join a six-member Asian security group. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, established in 2001, contains Russia as well as China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"We have addressed regional cooperation and intend to consolidate regional security mainly under the aegis of the United Nations," Patrushev said. "The outlook for cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is good."

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