Iran General NewsRussia and Iran Not Natural Allies

Russia and Iran Not Natural Allies


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

By Jubin Katiraie

Russia has recently been voicing its support for Iran in light of US pressure and sanctions on the country, but despite their shared goals of scuppering US policy in the East, the two nations are not natural allies, writes Dr Majid Rafizadeh.

This may surprise those who know that Russia’s foreign policy since 1979 has been focused on improving ties with Tehran in order to use Iran as leverage to cajole the West into giving Moscow favourable treatment.

It may also surprise those who see the cooperation between the two countries in Syria, where both nations support the Bashar Assad dictatorship against a coalition of Turkey, the US, and Syrian oppositional groups. Russia relies on airstrikes, but it is Iran and its various proxies that provide boots on the ground.

There is also the illicit trade between Russia and Iran, with Russian corporations exporting arms, atomic energy equipment, and missile defence systems to Iran in spite of international sanctions.

This does go both ways, of course, with Iran seeing Russia as a counterbalance to American influence in the region. But these ties do not translate into a natural allyship, especially when tensions between the two could flare up at any time.

For one thing, both countries are major energy exporters, taking the top two spots for the largest gas reserves in the world. Shortly after the Iranian nuclear deal was signed and the Ukraine crisis, many countries turned from Russia to Iran for their energy needs. In this light, Russia sees Iran as an economic rival.

For another thing, Russia has sided with Western countries against Iran on many occasions, particularly when offered incentives or its interests were at stake, as was the case in the four rounds of economic sanctions applied on Iran in the UN Security Council.

Russia and Iran are also fighting for influence in Syria, where they only band together against a common threat.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued a statement about backing Iran in light of increased sanctions imposed by the US Treasury, but one might wonder how much pressure it would take to end this support.

Dr Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “In conclusion, although a shared strategic agenda between Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Russian President Putin have kept them close to each other, history shows that Moscow is not afraid of siding with the West in opposition to Tehran.”

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Ahmadinejad slams Saudi role in Yemen conflict

Reuters: Iran's president lashed out at Saudi Arabia on...

Iran: Lessons learned

UPI: In 1978, the Central Intelligence Agency assigned me...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you