Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s arrival to Tehran signals greater cooperation between the Russian Federation and Islamic Republic of Iran in the years to come.
Like every other equation in the world, International politics too is governed by a set of rules and guidelines. Nobody has ever won on its own and alliances are a necessity to balance out your opposition’s strength or at least to achieve an equal footing with your adversary. Having said that, countries which are marked out by hegemons have a hard time forging alliances. However with every obstacle new opportunities present themselves and apparently so it did with Iran recently.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Tehran today to discuss the expansion of bilateral ties with Iran and to debate the situation concerning the JCPOA’s revival with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Lavrov also took time to meet with the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani where he discussed Russia’s interest in seeing Iran taking up a more active role in its cooperation with the federation to secure peace and restore stability to Syria. During his meeting with the Iranian president, Lavrov also emphasized Iran’s constructive influence on the on-going situation in countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen, stressing the need to counter the Americans and their allies’ influence within the region with the Iranian’s help.
Iranians dialogue with Lavrov was however overshadowed by the events that transpired two days ago. During its meeting with Lavrov, Rouhani did not shy away from blaming Israel for its dangerous misadventure, describing their enemy as a “destabilising and tension-creating element” in the region which has resorted to “nuclear terrorism” since its pleas with regards to Iran’s growing influence have fell on deaf ears. Zarif too in a separate meeting described Israel’s actions as “war crimes”, emphasizing on the need to prevent the “rogue state” from carrying out further attacks against Iran. On the previous day, Zarif went as far as vowing revenge against Israel, promising retribution should the international community fall short of conveying the proper response.
Although the talk about the potential ramifications of Israelis attack on Natanz and the revival of JCPOA dominated the majority of Lavrov’s trip to Iran, the Russian Foreign Minister didn’t spend his time solely on those issues. Earlier on Tuesday, Lavrov and Zarif signed a cultural cooperation agreement with each other. Additionally, both sides also renewed their Joint Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement signed between their respective countries back in 2001. Furthermore, both countries also pledged to renew their information security agreement which was signed a few years ago, aimed at curtailing the U.S. cyber influence over the region. All in all, it appears that Russia has been encouraged to invest more in its relations with Iran. Undoubtedly, China’s recent dealings with Iran was a great motivating factor for Russia to engage with Iran at this time.
Following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran sought greater cooperation with other members’ party to the deal. Since the Europeans were more inclined to appease the Americans at the time, countries like China and Russia, who were not beholden to U.S. whims, decided to make use of this opportunity in order to foster greater relations with Iran. The U.S. 2020 Election brought so many changes with itself, along with a new mindset which perceived Chinese growing influence as more of a threat to its long-term objectives than Iran’s shadowy war with Saudi Arabia over the Middle-East. For that reason, Biden eventually got off the high horse and proposed the revival of JCPOA. Still, so far the U.S. wants to play the double game. Unfortunately, Americans can’t have it both ways and this double game has only prompted Iran to take its threats to the next level. What happens next is anyone’s guess, though we can say with certainty that the U.S. refusal to acknowledge its mistakes has only emboldened its rivals to seek greater cooperation with its nemesis within the region.