Russian Experts Discuss Impact of Iran Election

Russian Experts Discuss Impact of Iran Election

Tehran's consistent policy toward Moscow is more important for Russia than who becomes the new president of Iran.
This was stated by a senior researcher with the Center for Middle East Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Sazhin at a recent roundtable dubbed "Iran's power landscape ahead of the presidential election", TASS reported.
"For Russia, it is not that important who becomes the new president of Iran. We have a tradition of friendly relations with Iran, so the country's authorities will seek to maintain and strengthen ties with Russia; only minor changes in their approach are possible, depending on who becomes president," Sazhin said.
However, according to military expert Vladimir Yevseyev, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, Hassan Rouhani's win would positively affect Russian-Iranian relations.
"I don't think we should not care about who wins the election," he said. "During Hassan Rouhani's presidential term, we managed to build a strategic dialogue and express determination to reach strategic partnership, so it is Hassan Rouhani's victory that would strengthen Russian-Iranian ties," he said.
Grigory Lukyanov, an expert on modern history of the Middle East and North Africa and senior professor of the Political Sciences Department at Russia's Higher School of Economics, said if Rouhani remains president, it will have a positive effect on Russian-Iranian relations.
According to Lukyanov, the basis is still not solid enough for Iran to move from cautious partnership with Russia to a strategic one, but Russia came close to building the basis after Rouhani became president.
"There are reasons to believe that another four years of his presidency will strengthen this basis and enhance mutual trust in the long term," Lukyanov concluded.
The presidential election in Iran is scheduled to be held on May 19.
There are six candidates, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, former prosecutor general Ebrahim Raeisi, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, former culture minister, Mostafa Mirsalim, and former industries minister, Mostafa Hashemitaba.


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