July 06, 2010
Belarus-Iran Foreign Relations
Belarus has expressed its support for Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology and, as a part of the Non-Aligned Movement, commended Iran in 2008 for its compliance with the IAEA and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Despite increasing censure from the UN Security Council, the European Union, and the United States, Belarus and the Non-Aligned Movement as a whole expressed their support for Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in a statement produced at the NAM Ministerial Conference in Tehran in June 2008. [Click here for more information on the Non-Aligned Movement]
Belarus and Iran have been pursuing closer economic ties in recent years; according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “the two countries enjoy close cooperation in various areas of transportation, energy, industry, economy and trade." In May 2007, the two agreed to work towards deeper bilateral trade and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko referred to his country’s relationship with the Islamic Republic as a “strategic partnership.”
In May 2009, Belarussian Deputy PM Vladimir Semashko met with Vice Governor of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reza Raei, to enhance an oil production project in the Jofeir field, located in Southwestern Iran near the border with Iraq. Subsequently, the Central Bank of Iran agreed to lend $212m to Belarussian state-run oil company Belarusneft for the development of Jofeir oil field.
Belarus and Iran have been forging a close political partnership in recent years as each have come under criticisms from the West for human rights and nuclear ambitions respectively.  According to President Ahmadinejad, “Tehran-Minsk ties are growing in all fields.” At their meeting in May 2007, the two agreed “to act jointly to counter attempts to exert pressure on individual nations.” 
In June 2010, Belarus’ Culture Minister Pavel Latushka announced at an Iranian art exhibit run by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) in Minsk. A press release issued by the ICRO stated, “Latushka proposed establishing an Iran-Belarus artists association and also announced preparations by the Belarus Ministry of Culture to hold a cultural week in Tehran.”
In late June 2010, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that in light of a recent row with Russia over gas supplies, Belarus would be looking into collaborations with Iran in order to meet their demands. Lukashenko added that this desire to increase ties energy ties with Iran is part of a move away from dependency on one source for oil and gas.