Russia Ties Should Be Based on Cost-Benefit Approach

Russia Ties Should Be Based on  Cost-Benefit Approach Russia Ties Should Be Based on  Cost-Benefit Approach

A lawmaker said the foreign policies adopted by Russia in the past indicate that Moscow is only seeking to promote its interests when expanding its relations with other nations, an approach he believes needs to be pursued by Tehran as well.

Jalal Mirzaei told ICANA on Tuesday that "Russia, unlike the era of the former Soviet Union, does not look at its relations [with other nations] in an ideological way. It is only after gaining benefits."

Pointing to the expansion of Russia-Iran relations after the two sides helped the Syrian government defeat the self-styled Islamic Sate terrorist group, the reformist lawmaker said, "After the defeat of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq, the previous conditions leading to closer Iran-Russia ties do not exist now." 

The lawmaker's pragmatic outlook toward Russia was prompted by the news of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Moscow late last month for talks which many media outlets said were focused on Iran. Speaking via a video link after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu hailed what he described as a "good and in-depth" meeting. The Israeli leader also pointed at what he claimed were "Iran's relentless efforts to establish a military presence in Syria, which we strongly oppose and are also taking action against."

  Dual-Track Policy 

Mirzaei noted that the US inclusion of the Russian foreign minister in a list of targets for potential sanctions against Moscow last month and the subsequent Israeli premier's visit to Moscow can be seen as a game of "carrot and stick" to prod Russia into pressing Iran over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and other issues.

"They first lift the stick of sanctions aloft over Russia and then send Netanyahu, who wield sway in Washington, to give Moscow some concessions," he said.

Mirzaei warned against taking pro-Iran Russian stances for granted, saying "for Russia there is no perpetual friend or enemy but only interests."

He mentioned the repeated delays in the launch of the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran's sole nuclear-run power facility, as an example that shows there must not be too much dependence on Russia in Iran's foreign policies.

"We should not have an ideological approach in our foreign relations with Russia. We need to observe all players in the international arena with open eyes and take steps in accordance to our own interests," he concluded.

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