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RUSSIA IRAN RELATIONS

21st July, 2022 International Relations

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Context: In his first trip outside the former Soviet sphere since the Ukraine war began, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran where he held talks with both Iranian and Turkish leaders.

 

More on the news:

  • A host of issues, from the Syrian civil war to a UN-sponsored proposal to resume grain exports via the Russia-blockaded Black Sea, were discussed in the meetings, but the main focus of the visit was on further deepening the partnership between Iran and Russia.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have isolated Moscow in the West. But the crisis seems to have opened new avenues of cooperation between Iran and Russia. After the invasion, Russia came under heavy Western sanctions, which forced President Putin to look east. Iran, which has been living under U.S. sanctions for decades, has taken a line that’s closest to Russia’s own position about the Ukraine conflict.
  • Iran is opposed to any form of conflicts, but in the case of Ukraine, Russia has genuine security concerns”.

 

Strategic partnership

  • Iran and Russia already have a strategic partnership in place.
  • In Syria, Tehran and Moscow helped President Bashar al-Assad turn around the civil war to his favour. I
  • n recent years, especially after the U.S. unilaterally pulled itself out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Tehran sought to accelerate its cooperation with both Russia and China, in what German-Iranian political scientist Ali Fathollah-Nejad called a “look-to-the-East geopolitical orientation”.
  • In 2001, Russia and Iran had signed a 10-year cooperation treaty, and last year, Iran had said it was in an advanced stage of discussions to clinch a 20-year strategic partnership agreement with Russia.
  • The partnership has been characterised by both cooperation and competition (especially in the field of oil exports).
  • In particular, Moscow is willing to learn from Tehran’s decades-long experience on how to circumvent Western sanctions and potentially seek the procurement of Iranian drones, which Tehran and its proxies have used time and again — with surprising success — against the hydrocarbon infrastructure of Iran’s southern Gulf neighbours.

 

Energy deal

  • Russia’s Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company signed a memorandum of understanding worth $40 billion.
  • The deal involves joint offshore gas projects, gas and oil products swap, completion of LNG projects and building gas pipelines.

 

Can Iran help Russia in Ukraine war?

  • US officials have said Iran is preparing to help supply Russia with several hundred unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, including some that are capable of firing weapons, but neither country has confirmed it.
  • Ukraine has used Turkish-supplied Bayraktar drones to lethal effect in targeting Russian units and destroying huge quantities of tanks and other armoured
  • Iran can also help Russia evade sanctions and potentially collaborate on the manufacture of weapons systems that are less dependent upon supply chains through Western countries.

 

What can Russia learn from Iran sanction?

  • Iran has many years of experience of defending itself against Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme.
  • Russia, meanwhile, has been hit with waves of sanctions against banks, businesses and individuals over the war in Ukraine.
  • There might be some lessons that Russia can learn from Iran... In exchange, Russia could offer military goods and possibly raw materials or grain.
  • With some Russian banks cut off from the SWIFT international payments system, Moscow is developing an alternative in which Iranian banks could be included.
  • More broadly, Iran is part of a wider group of countries - also including China, India, Latin America and Arab and African nations - with which Russia is forging stronger ties in a bid to prove its claim that it can thrive under sanctions and that these will only rebound on the West.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/what-does-putin-want-from iran/article65662774.ece?homepage=true

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