Russia, Turkey & Iran Tripartite Summit

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Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, travelled to Iran in July for a three-day meeting with the presidents of Iran and Turkey. Ayatollah Al Khamenei, Putin’s counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, and Turkish President Recep Erdogan were all received by Putin.

During this visit, Iran and Russia made friendly vows to work together strategically. It denotes a change in their conventional methods of dealing with one another. A strong indication of an escalating warming trend in their bilateral ties is President Putin’s cordial reception of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Al Khamenei, and their bilateral discussions on regional and global security matters.

President Joe Biden’s four-day trip to the Middle East, during which he visited Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Palestine and took part in the GCC summit with the leaders of Arab monarchies, came to a conclusion with Putin’s visit to Tehran.

Tehran saw Biden’s trip as an effort to forge a new anti-Iran regional consensus under Washington’s guidance in opposition to Tehran’s regional aspirations and nuclear ambitions. For the first time, Israel and the most important Arab states are both included in this regional accord. The two sides agreed in the joint statement released at the conclusion of Biden’s visit to Israel that they would cooperate “not to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons,” which are seen as a danger to regional and global peace.

This alarmist viewpoint is shared by Saudi Arabia and the GCC nations. They have decided to collaborate to develop a regional anti-nuclear anti-missile shield intended to counter the alleged Iranian missile threat.

In response, Tehran was compelled to seek Moscow’s diplomatic and strategic cooperation in opposition to this developing anti-Iranian regional consensus in order to counteract these American and Arab actions. In addition to endorsing Iran’s nuclear programme, President Putin mocked American efforts to control Tehran.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated as part of the country’s “pivot to the east” strategy: “We must look to the East; looking to the West and Europe has no effect on us but procrastination and difficulties.” In the East, there are nations that can assist us, and we can cooperate with them on an equal basis. We aid them, and they aid us as well. According to media sources, Tehran is ready to send Russia “a few hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeframe for deployment in Russia’s current battle with Ukraine.”

Ayatollah Al Khamenei supported the Russian viewpoint on the crucial topic of the Russian invasion of Ukraine by claiming that NATO, “the deadly beast,” would have finally launched the war in Ukraine if Moscow had not initiated it. The spiritual guide said, “The West opposes an autonomous, powerful Russia… If the way were open, NATO would have no boundaries, and if it wasn’t stopped in Ukraine, it would start the same war using Crimea as justification.

President Putin stated, “I am extremely glad to be on the hospitable Iranian territory for our meeting with Raisi.” We may brag about historic levels of trade expansion. We are enhancing our collaboration on matters of global security, significantly aiding in the resolution of the Syrian conflict.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia and Iran have also been increasing their economic cooperation.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Ali Saleh-Abadi, visited Moscow in July 2022. Ali Saleh Abadi met with key Russian officials during his visit, including Alexander Novak, the deputy prime minister of the country; Maxim Reshetnikov, the minister of economic development; and the governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

The major objectives of this tour were issues relating to cooperative investment; improving monetary and banking cooperation, and removing impediments.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on road transportation was signed by the two nations at the conclusion of the two nations’ road transportation joint committee meeting in Moscow in June 2022.

According to Mohammad Reza Pour Ebrahimi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s economic commission, Putin’s visit to Tehran would promote bilateral economic cooperation. The Iranian senator said that the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and Europe have increased the need for collaboration between Russia and Iran.

The National Iranian Oil Company and Russia’s Gazprom signed a $40 billion energy cooperation deal during Putin’s visit. Under this agreement, Gazprom will assist NIOC in developing two gas fields and six oil fields, as well as participating in LNG projects and building gas export pipes.

Many people doubt the long-term viability of this trend toward improving relations between Moscow and Tehran. They make reference to the “logic of competition” that underpins their bilateral relationships as energy providers, which, in their opinion, would significantly restrict their ability to develop a true strategic alliance. As CIA director William Burns noted, “I think underlying the visuals that we all witnessed… both nations are under the protection of the federal government and both are attempting to end their political isolation; nevertheless, despite their need for one another, they don’t fully trust one another because they are energy rivals and have a long history of conflict.”

The influence of Islamic religion in Iran’s worldview, which would naturally lead to mistrust of nations like Russia that have engaged in overt power politics to further their goals, is another restricting element. Despite these oil-related and ideological factors, it is safe to assume that Iran will continue to be willing to play the regional game of influence-building with Moscow’s assistance as long as there is turmoil and instability in global politics and Iran continues to be the target of Western sanctions.

Tehran is eager to get diplomatic backing from Russia in order to put pressure on the US to resume JCPOA negotiations, which have stopped.

Another aspect of Putin’s efforts to resolve issues with Iran, Turkey, and Russia over the Syrian crisis. In the joint statement released following the trilateral summit, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to cooperate in the fight against terrorism in all of its manifestations and reiterated that there was no military solution to the Syrian problem. The sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as the goals and tenets of the UN Charter were stressed by all three presidents. They “highlighted that these ideals should be widely regarded and that no acts, regardless of who they were conducted by, should undermine them” in unanimity.

The willingness of Moscow to permit grain shipments from the Black Sea to the entire world in order to facilitate the supply of grain to global markets was a tangible result of this trilateral conference.

Overall, Putin’s trip to Iran may be hailed as a resounding success since it helped Moscow escape the diplomatic isolation placed on it by the United States and its allies in Europe.

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