The Kremlin has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Iran on November 23, his first trip there since 2007.
The Kremlin's top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, said Putin was making the visit in order to attend a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum hosted by Tehran.
But Ushakov said Putin was also expected to meet separately with senior Iranian leaders, possibly including President Hassan Rohani.
Iran is hosting the 12-country natural gas conference in the wake of its nuclear accord with six world powers, which calls for international sanctions on Iran to be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
Hamid Reza Araqi, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company, has said that within four years of the lifting of sanctions, Iran hopes its gas exports will equal half the amount that Russia supplied to the European Union in 2014.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, Interfax, TASS, and IRNA
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