Syria, Trump Behind Closer Tehran-Moscow Ties

Syria, Trump Behind Closer Tehran-Moscow TiesSyria, Trump Behind Closer Tehran-Moscow Ties

A political analyst said the growing cooperation in Syria and US President Donald Trump’s wrong policies have brought Moscow and Tehran closer than ever, a fact that came to the fore during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent trip to Tehran.

On Nov. 1, Putin traveled to Tehran for the second trilateral summit with Iran and Azerbaijan. His busy one-day schedule included meetings with Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

This was Putin’s third visit to Iran. The previous one had taken place in November 2015, two months after the start of Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

“Russia had successful cooperation with Iran in Syria, which could act as the base for further collaboration between the two sides,” Ali Khorram also told the Persian weekly Tejarat-e Farda.

With Iran’s support, the Russian foray into Syria has been a battlefield success. Critics had feared it would be an Afghanistan-like quagmire, but instead, it allowed Russia to reposition itself diplomatically and at relatively little cost.

Russian casualties have remained in the dozens, despite Moscow’s multi-year involvement in the war against terrorists.

The two sides’ cooperation in Syria, which had taken place at the formal request of its government, has led to the defeat of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group and other militants, giving Tehran and Moscow the upper hand in international talks regarding the future of the war-ravaged country.

  Trump’s Wrong Policies

Khorram, who is also a former Iranian diplomat, said another reason that has brought Russia and Iran closer is the wrong polices adopted by Trump.

US belligerence and imposition of more sanctions have made Iran explore more ways of strengthening its ties with Russia.

“Russia also wants to have an ally that can help meet its interests,” he said.

“Therefore, the main reason behind closer Russia-Tehran ties in the past two years has been the wrong policies of Washington under Trump.”

On August 2, Trump signed a wide-ranging piece of legislation, “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, which expands existing sanctions and imposes new ones on Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The legislation takes several steps to strengthen economic sanctions on Russia and limit western investment in Russia.

“Washington’s daily threats against Iran, accompanied by imposition of more sanctions, have led to Iran offering its capabilities and potentials to Moscow. Now Tehran looks at Russia as a strategic partner,” Khorram said.

The analyst warned that Iran should not rely on Russia and China alone, as some foreign policy pundits suggest, because Iran needs to strike a balance in relations with western and eastern powers by expanding ties with European countries and moving toward easing animosity with Washington.

“To say that the only solution [in the face of harsh US stance against Iran] is to establish ties with Russia and China is a mistake,” he said, stressing that Iran is well advised to diversify its relations with all countries so that it can dampen the impact of sanctions on its economy.


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