TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov explored ways to enhance Tehran-Moscow energy cooperation as new US sanctions against Iran loom.

In a telephone conversation on Monday, the two ministers discussed energy cooperation, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.

They also exchanged views on international and regional issues, the ministry added.

Iran and Russia, both faced with US sanctions, have devised plans to increase trade interaction and ease mercantile regulations.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described Tehran and Moscow as “strategic partners”.

In June, Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a meeting in China highlighted the need to maintain and promote economic relations between the two sides.

US President Donald Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program. The deal had been signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany in 2015.

The US administration reintroduced the previous sanctions while imposing new ones on the Islamic Republic. It also introduced punitive measures — known as secondary sanctions — against third countries doing business with Iran.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil sales and its Central Bank.