Representative from Iran, Russia and Turkey meet on Syria in Tehran

Meetings on Syria de-escalation zones underway in Tehran; All three states sign major oil and gas fields development project, as Turkish-Russian-Iranian relations increase

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Foreign ministers and representatives from Turkey and Russia began holding meetings with their Iranian counterparts in Tehran, the talks centered on Syria.

This is the sixth round of talks on Syria to be held.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated ahead of the meeting that leaders would “continue the talk on further strengthening the regime of de-escalation zones in Syria,” and that talks will center on Idlib, stating “Three de-escalation zones are already operating in southern Syria, Eastern Ghouta and north of Homs, but the parties are working on the largest zone in the province of Idlib.”

All three states signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria this summer during talks held in Astana.

The meeting comes the same week a meeting between Russia and Iran was held on increasing military cooperation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan meeting to discuss additional sales of Russian arms to Iran.

Additionally on Wednesday, reports surfaced that Iran, Turkey and Russia had all signed a deal on investment in oil and gas fields. According to the Shana News Agency, companies from all three states “have signed an agreement on joint investments in oil and gas fields’ development projects… to finance projects both in Iran and outside the country.”

Russia continues to be Iran’s main military and arms seller, Iran purchasing the S-300 missile defense system from Russia, the arms deal renegotiated before sanctions were removed from the Islamic Republic of Iran under the nuclear deal between world powers and the United States under the Obama Administration.

Russia and Turkey are in talks for the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirming in April that negotiations are under way since 2016. A spokesman for Putin also confirmed that talks were held between Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodan during their meeting in Sochi.

In November 2016, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik confirmed that Turkey and Russia are negotiating the arms deal, Isik stating “Our talks on S-400 are not only held with Russia, but also with other countries that have similar systems. Russia’s position on this issue now is positive,” adding that Turkey hopes “that the NATO member states consider this topic very seriously…. But this does not mean that we will ignore Russia’s proposals. We are pushing ahead with proactive work in this direction. Our ultimate goal is to start producing these systems on our own.”