Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 26 January 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Iranian, Russian Speakers Meet, Calling for Strategic Cooperation
Russian State Duma speaker headed to Tehran, a more powerful sign of cooperation between Russia and Iran than just a parliamentary cooperation commission. Volodin is a hawk with strong ties to Vladimir Putin. Perhaps he traveled to Iran to consolidate his position in the “party of war” and open a new chapter in Russian-Iranian ties.
For Russia, Iran is a major ally that provides it with both drones and ballistic missiles, with the former being used in its war against Ukraine, as well as some strategies on how to survive amid Western sanctions. Top Russian officials have made more trips to Iran since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian parliamentary delegation headed by State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin arrived in Tehran on an official visit on January 23. The Russian official met there with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The two speakers also discussed a wide range of issues, including efforts to cement energy and trade cooperation. They must have also discussed defense cooperation. Moscow and Tehran have reportedly inked a deal that would allow Russia to purchase and produce Iranian-designed drones. In November, Russia imported hundreds of Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones and surface-to-surface missiles. In return, Moscow has apparently provided Tehran with stolen weapons from the West as well as cash. What has made Iran and Russia allies are joint enemies: supporters of democracy at home and the United States abroad. Tehran has asked Russia for help to quell the popular uprising after the death of a young Kurdish woman detained by Iran’s so-called morality police last fall. Their rapprochement is powered by common goals regionwide. In Syria, they both have pledged support to the Assad regime while thwarting U.S. influence in the region. A new common threat has emerged as Turkey is seeking to make gains both in Syria and in the Caucasus. Tehran has raised concern over a weaker Armenia and a more powerful Azerbaijan as the latter receives substantial assistance from Turkey.
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