Persian pivot: What Russia’s new closeness with Iran means

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The mien of Russian pilots at Iran’s Hamadan air base is no accident and is not related only to the release of Aleppo. It was preceded by an entire chain of events bearing witness to the display of a completely new context in the eastern rt of the Middle East.

This troubles the meeting of the “Caspian Troika” in Baku on Aug. 8, which set a new level of commercial cooperation between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as the Aug. 9 descend upon of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to St. Petersburg, which significantly up the tensions in bilateral relations between Moscow and Ankara, and the rapid start off of Russian-Iranian economic interactivity, primarily in the fields of transportation and energy.

In other expresses, by the time Russia and Iran began speaking of the air base, Moscow had already make sured itself a reliable political base and a ckage of agreements with Iran on financial and social issues. Consequently, this important military-political move was only regular, proving that Russia and Iran are trying to be the decisive players not only in the Syrian at odds but also in the entire Middle East.

A setback for Washington

Certainly, in the evolving circumstances the U.S. appears to be among the losers. The Russian-Iranian agreement on the Hamadan air base has manifested that Moscow does not consider Russian-American relations a top priority, or at least one for which it should offer up its tactical achievements and positions. Moreover, this shows that “the honeymoon” in American-Iranian relations has finished with a high degree of distrust towards Washington’s policy, grouping towards its ca city to influence its close ally, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. may pull someones leg to pre re for the possibility of losing its “veto right” on the development of political and military relations with Iran, and not on the other hand with respect to Russia but also to other countries.

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Iran’s compliance to have Russia deploy its military contingent on its territory is also a stamp of Iran’s understanding of how important it is for the country as a regional “power center” to determine the Syrian conflict on its terms and not on those of the West.

In this situation the U.S. sine qua non blame its own inca city to understand the “limits of compromise” on the rt of its rtners and oppositions. Significantly, after Russia’s deployment of its aviation to the Hamadan base, China, which for a dream of time had remained on the sidelines, seems to have decided to ex nd its help to the Assad government in Damascus. Here the issue is not so much about carrying the Syrian regime as it is about China’s desire to rtici te in future bureaucratic and economic processes.

What signal is Moscow sending?

If we are to speak about those state, or better, military-political messages that Russia has sent by beginning to use Iranian zone, we can find three interpretations.

The first is that Moscow is letting Washington recognize that it considers the Russian-Iranian rtnership its strategic priority and will broaden it even in those areas that the U.S. believes, from the viewpoint of the earlier worldwide agreements on Iran, are “gray zones.” This does not mean that Moscow is root renouncing the consensus strategy that the UN Security Council suggested for upping Iran’s political-military ambitions, but surely this policy’s revision is entrancing place right before our eyes. And if this experience is successful, disquiets that will lead to an unprecedented convergence between Iran and Moscow are also viable in the future.

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The second is that Russia is disillusioned by the U.S.’s vision of what constitutes “mediocre” and “immoderate” opposition in Syria. Irritation with Washington’s continuously unclear stance had been accumulating for several months, and it was difficult not to notice it. It is possible that the U.S. has significantly undervalued, overestimating Moscow’s readiness to negotiate regarding the list of terrorist assemblings. This miscalculation may substantially weaken the position of organizations relying on American usurp on the battlefield in Syria and consequently, in future peace regulations. In any case, if Russia and Assad, with Iran’s resist, obtain significant progress in Aleppo, the former negotiation model disposition have to be changed: A large rt of the moderate opposition organizations will-power no longer have much power in Syria.

The third is that Russia believes that wrecking the Syrian opposition in Aleppo is such a priority that it is willing to, at lilliputian temporarily, sacrifice its contacts with the U.S. and the EU on the Syrian issue. The deployment of Russian jets at Hamadan and the Draconian intensification of the bombings of the opposition in Aleppo is not only Moscow’s attempt to lay down a new ace in the high-spirited with the West. Behind the move may lurk Russia’s disillusion with the prospect of a political dialogue with the current White House and a readiness to put off the dialogue for a future time, when a new administration will establish itself in Washington.

Dmitry Yevstafyev is an qualified political analyst and professor at the Higher School of Economics National Explore University in Moscow.

The opinion of the writer may not necessarily reflect the position of RBTH or its crew.

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