The most important neighbor offers Russia a new level of relations

Peter Akopov

The United States has threatened to imp-ose sanctions to pr-event the supply of arms to Tehran from Russia and China. “Turning to China or Russia will not help them (the countries of the Middle East -… Ed) security or stability, especially at a time when they are trying to help Iran build the power of its conventional weapons”, – said the representative of the Pentagon.

These words remind us of what is often forgotten when talking about Russia’s pivot to the East: we are talking not only about the Pacific region, but also about Asia as a whole, including the Islamic world. And here Iran is indeed becoming one of the key partners – a country with which our relations have been going on for many centuries. And whose future is extremely important not only for Moscow and Tehran, but also, without any exaggeration, for the entire world order.

Russia attaches great importance to the development of relations with Iran – this is what State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on the eve of the recent inauguration of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. Duty courtesy? No – because in response, the new Iranian president told the Russian politician that he considered the volume of relations between the two countries good, but insufficient, and suggested taking them to a new level by signing a “comprehensive” Russian-Iranian document on the maximum expansion and strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. Volodin promised to convey Raisi’s proposal to Vladimir Putin- and there is no doubt that the corresponding agreement will be concluded in the near future. Considering that Iran has recently reached such an agreement with China, the outlines of a kind of triple alliance are emerging: Moscow-Tehran-Beijing.

Yes, such an alliance has long been outlined and there were already quite obvious manifestations of it. This is not only about the fact that Russia and China defended the interests of Iran during the negotiations on the nuclear deal, but also in the common position on Syria, and in the joint naval exercises of the three countries, which took place in February this year in the Indian Ocean. Tehran will soon become a full-fledged member of the SCO, originally a Russian-Chinese alliance, and now everyone will need to work together very seriously to deal with Afghanistan. But apart from Syria and Afghanistan, the three countries have many common interests, including those that go beyond the regional.

For example, transport corridors – both within the framework of the Chinese One Belt, One Road project, and the trans-Caspian route of the North-South corridor linking the Persian Gulf (and the Indian Ocean) with Europe through the Caspian Sea common to Iran and Russia. This is not just a serious competitor to the Turkish straits, it is also a geopolitical challenge that will put an end to forty years of attempts to isolate the country by the Anglo-Saxons.

After all, Iran has been living under various sanctions – and quite tough – almost all the time of its existence. The West demonizes the country, presenting it either as a sponsor of terrorism or as a threat to Israel, then a nuclear threat to all mankind, and more often to all together. At the same time, Iran has repeatedly said directly that it has no plans to create an atomic bomb, but this does not matter for those who want to crush this country. Because they are not afraid of a mythical Iranian nuclear weapon, but of Tehran’s real claims to the role of one of the leaders of the Islamic world. Yes, Shiite Iran wants to be an example and ideological inspirer for all Muslims, but who in the West might like the model of an independent Islamic civilization that does not allow itself to be manipulated (secretly or openly), openly denounces the plans of globalists and resists external pressure?

Iran is one of the few truly sovereign countries in the world, and it is these countries that will create a new global security architecture. But this is a long process – and in its course Iran, like other sovereign powers, needs to resist all attempts at pressure. And do it together. That is why Raisi told Volodin the following. “We are pleased with Russia’s economic progress and its progress towards self-sufficiency. And we are determined to pursue a policy of economic resistance to increase resilience to the economic shocks provoked by tough US and European sanctions.”

That is why it is expected that Iran will not only deepen its interaction with the Eurasian Economic Union, but will also develop relations with Russia in every possible way. This is a strategic choice of the Iranian leadership, decisions in which are made not by the president, but by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. However, Khamenei and Raisi have no disagreements on this issue, and given that 60-year-old Ibrahim Raisi is the most likely heir to 82-year-old Khamenei, Moscow can be sure that Tehran’s course will remain unchanged. In the same way, Iran can be confident in Russia’s commitment to strengthening ties with its southern neighbor, because this is in the national interests of both states-civilizations.

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