Addressing the 13th meeting of the International Council of Trade Cooperation among the Caspian Sea Littoral States\' Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Iran\'s Northern city of Gorgan on Wednesday, Deputy Head of Russia\'s Astrakhan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cherny Shova said \"Iran is considered as a strategic partner for Russia\'s Astrakhan.\" \"One of the objectives of Astrakhan Chamber of Commerce is to expand trade ties between Iran and Russia,\" the official said, adding that 150 Iranian companies have been registered in Russia. Astrakhan is a major city in Southwestern Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of 23 meters below sea level. In December 2010, Iran\'s Northern province of Mazandaran and Astrakhan signed a protocol to boost mutual cooperation. The protocol paves the way for bolstering mutual cooperation in the fields of industry, trade, agriculture, health and medicine, education and sciences, and tourism. As regards trade cooperation, the two sides agreed to carry out joint efforts to establish Iran\'s Trade House in Astrakhan. On educational cooperation, the two sides\' state-run universities are tasked with exchange of experiences in nanotechnology fields. The protocol came during a trip to Iran\'s Northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran by a large delegation from Astrakhan. The Russian delegation said it paid the visit to study possible ways for bolstering trade ties and exchanges between the two regions. In Gilan, Astrakhan\'s Governor-General described Iran as a strategic partner of Russia, and further stressed that Iran\'s Gilan province is a strategic partner for his province.