Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's Ebrahim Raisi agreed in a phone call Thursday – as Russian forces were invading Ukraine on several fronts – that a new agreement on Tehran's nuclear program "would help maintain regional stability and security."
According to a statement carried by Russian news agency Interfax, the two leaders spoke about "the evolving situation around Ukraine" and the negotiations between Iran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Russian statement said that the two leaders "noted that reaching a final agreement" – as diplomats involved in the talks in Vienna said may be announced within days – would benefit the region.
The Russian attack on Ukraine was described by Interfax as "a special military operation to protect the civilian population" of two breakaway Ukrainian regions, Donbas and Luhansk, "in accordance with international law."
For his part, according to the statement, Raisi expressed his understanding of "Russian security concerns" over the "destabilizing activities" of the United States and NATO.
Russia's military incursion into Ukraine was widely condemned in the international community, with the EU and U.S. announcing harsh sanctions on Moscow.
On Wednesday, Iran's foreign minister said that the talks in Vienna had reached a sensitive point, and Western countries should take a realistic approach to settle remaining matters.
- Russia Invades Ukraine: Here's Why Sanctions on Putin Won't Work
- Israel’s Iran Policy Is Entering Dangerous 2015 Territory
- Ukrainian Jews Angry and Appalled at Putin's 'Denazification' Claim
"We wonder whether the Western side can adopt a realistic approach to go through the remaining points of the talks," Hossein Amirabdollahian said during a news conference with his Omani counterpart in Tehran.
U.S. and Iranian leaders said last week that a deal is taking shape, after months of indirect talks to revive the nuclear pact abandoned in 2018 by then-U.S. President Donald Trump, who also reimposed extensive sanctions on Iran.
Earlier this week, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Iran and world powers are expected to sign a deal similar to the original 2015 nuclear accord known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with slight changes that have not yet been made public.
Reuters contributed to this report.