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Iran's Mehr News Agency reporting that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to hold bilateral conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit taking place 16-17 September in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

  • If the talks do go ahead they will occur virtually, with Putin announcing earlier today that he would go into self-isolation following one of his inner circle testing positive for COVID-19.
  • These would be the first bilateral talks between the two men since Raisi took office in August. The situation in Afghanistan likely to feature prominently in the talks, given the security concerns in both Tehran and Moscow arising from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
  • Raisi will also seek to get on Putin's good side, given that Iran continues to make overtures to powerful SCO members seeking full membership rather than its current associate membership status.