Defying America. Russia’s policy towards Iran Cover Image

Defying America. Russia’s policy towards Iran
Defying America. Russia’s policy towards Iran

Author(s): Witold Rodkiewicz
Subject(s): International relations/trade, Security and defense, Geopolitics
Published by: Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia
Keywords: Persian Gulf; Russia-Iran-relations; Southern Caucasus; JCPOA;
Summary/Abstract: Russia’s relations with Iran are almost entirely based on geopolitical considerations. The Russian elite perceives Iran as an essential, albeit difficult partner, with whom it shares a number of interests; a partner who understands the language of power politics, and has demonstrated a willingness to seek pragmatic compromises where the interests of Moscow and Tehran diverge. The foundation of the Russian-Iranian strategic partnership is both countries’ common interest in reducing American power and influence, both in the Middle East and globally. The partnership with Iran is also important for Russia because it helps to stabilise the geopolitical situation in the south of the post-Soviet area (the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia) and minimise the influence of Western countries in the region. Since the Russian Federation began its military intervention in Syria (September 2015), Iran has become its de facto ally in its war against the armed anti-Assad opposition. Since the United States withdrew from the multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) in 2018, Russia has become a major advocate of maintaining it, and has undertaken active diplomatic efforts to persuade its Western European signatories to resume economic relations with Iran – in defiance of the American sanctions. In response to the escalation in the conflict between Iran and the United States and its Arab allies in summer 2019, Russia has provided diplomatic and propaganda support for Iran. It has also undertaken initiatives aimed at easing tensions in the region and creating a new security architecture in the Persian Gulf, based on the logic of a concert of powers and limiting the importance of bilateral relations in the security sphere between the US and the region’s Arab monarchies.

  • Page Count: 9
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: English