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Friday, February 16, 2018

The rapprochement between Russia and Iran does not like US

Vladimir Putin made an official visit to Tehran, during which Russia and Iran reached a number of important agreements. The presidents of Russia and Iran discussed the fight against terrorists, and U.S. policy the Iranian side called security threat. Relations between Moscow and Tehran are unlikely to appeal to the liking of Washington, experts say.

Moscow and Tehran signed a draft document on the provision to Iran of credit worth $ 5 billion, told first Vice-Premier of Russia Igor Shuvalov. According to Shuvalov, the funds will be spent on electrification of Railways and construction of power plants in Iran.

“Both Russia and Iran are independent centers of power. Washington, of course, don’t like it”

We will remind, negotiations of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani was held in the Iranian capital after the two leaders participated in the forum of gas exporting countries (GECF). Following the meeting with the Iranian leader Putin also pointed out that “the Eurasian economic Union will begin in the applied key study the possibility of establishing a free trade zone with Iran.” In addition, Russia and Iran signed an intergovernmental agreement on simplification of visa regime for certain categories of citizens of the two countries.

“The plan of the Americans – a threat, particularly Russia and Iran”

Vladimir Putin also noted that he discussed with the leadership of Iran is not only economic issues, but international issues, including the fight against terrorism. “We exchanged views on the situation in Syria,” Putin said. – With regard to the actions of our military, it is a complex operation – involving a large space grouping, heterogeneous force aircraft: attack aircraft, bombers, that strategic bombers-rocket carriers, covering their fighters; they are two factions of the fleet in the Caspian sea and the Mediterranean sea, including attack submarines, which strikes from the Caspian sea.” According to Putin, without the support of Iran, such an operation would be impossible. “All this is done, of course, in agreement with our Iranian partners,” he said.

Russia will continue to “coordinate (with Iran) to combat terrorism. We will strengthen our cooperation in the framework of the international group on Syria, including in order to implement decisions about the launch of a comprehensive inter-Syrian political process,” Putin said. He recalled that “there is no other option on a long term basis to solve the problem of Syria, except through political negotiations”.

Recall, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the Russian military involved in the operation in Syria, not to reduce the high level of the operation. The Minister of defense of Russia General of the army Sergei Shoigu reported to the Supreme commander that the Russian aviation group involved in the operation against terrorists in Syria, now twice.

The results of the talks with his Russian counterpart welcomed Rouhani. “As the show signed today bilateral agreements between the responsible persons of our countries, ties between Iran develop and move on to a new stage,” he said. According to the Iranian President, the parties agreed to develop cooperation on regional issues, in particular in the field of combating terrorism. “Terrorism today is a formidable challenge for the countries of the region and the world,” said Rouhani. In addition, Iran is set to implement numerous projects in the field of energy, gas exports, as well as other areas of industry and economy,” he added.

Upon arrival to Iran Vladimir Putin for the first time in eight years met with the Supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. According to the press-Secretary of President Dmitry Peskov, the meeting was “very constructive”, said “Interfax”. During the conversation, Khamenei stressed the need to strengthen Russian-Iranian relations: “Americans Have a long-term plan, and they are trying to dominate Syria and the region… It is a threat to all countries, particularly Russia and Iran,” said Ayatollah Khamenei. He added that the US is trying now to implement a failed military script using political methods, referring to the peace talks on settlement of the situation in Syria, reports Aljazeera.

Following the meeting, both leaders stressed that Moscow and Tehran are unanimous with regard to the inadmissibility of dictation options for a political settlement from outside,” in Syria, Peskov said. Khamenei praised Putin for “the neutralization of the script of Washington,” and noted that economic relations between the two countries should go beyond the current level,” said Aljazeera.

Search of hints of disagreements

Meanwhile, Western governments are looking for the slightest hint of contradiction between Iran and Russia about Assad’s future, the Agency stated, Recalling that at the meeting in Vienna after the terrorist attacks on the Paris and Beirut, the leaders of the world powers, including Russia, USA, Europe and the Middle East have agreed on a political settlement in Syria, hold elections within two years, however, the differences on such key issues as the future of Assad, left.

The topic of alleged contradictions between Iran and Russia have developed and The Wall Street Journal. After sanctions Iran c will be charged in full, it will compete with Russia in the gas industry, analysts edition. Iran wants to export to Europe, which has long been dominated by Russia. In addition, Iran for many years and hopes to build a pipeline through Syria to the Mediterranean, while the European countries are trying to reduce its gas dependence on Russia, said the publication.

When the war in Syria subsides, both countries can compete for political and economic influence in it, the interlocutors are confident the WSJ: “They will cooperate until, until you stop fighting, then the rivalry will start again”, – said the publication of the former Russian diplomat in Tehran and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center Nikolay Korzhanoff.

“The differences (between Iran and Russia) certainly have,” – said the French diplomat, freelancer at the Washington Institute for near East policy Olivier Decottignies. “Russian does not need equal to their power”, – he explained.

In addition, the interlocutors of WSJ recalled that Moscow seeks to use the Syrian refugee crisis to increase the leverage of the Kremlin in Europe. According to them, the US and the EU is likely to resort to significant concessions to Putin, for example, the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Russia last year after the annexation of Crimea to force Moscow to abandon support for Assad. “If we go on concessions in Ukraine, we probably could get Assad’s head, – says an expert on the Middle East from the University in Lyon Fabrice Blanc. – But the Iranians will never agree to that,” he added.

“The rapprochement between Iran and Russia is a short – term Alliance of convenience. The political goals of Tehran in the middle East and his economic ambitions on the international energy market for many positions at odds with the interests of Moscow”, – summed up the WSJ.

“Russia can count on the support of many Nations”

During the summit, Putin also met with President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro: “I Want to Express my support in all your action to stabilize the situation in the middle East and the world in General,” said the Venezuelan leader. He added that “Russia can count on the support of many Nations in the reign of peace in the world. It takes a lot of courage from you as President and I am very grateful,” said the Venezuelan President.

Putin also discussed military-technical cooperation with Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales in Tehran. “Your country is one of the largest producers of gas reserves is good. The company “Gazprom” already works in your country, is planning, in my opinion, next year production,” – said Putin. He added that “cooperation with Bolivia is ready not only Gazprom, but also other companies. There are interests in the field of power engineering, certain high-tech sectors. We are ready to work with you in the sphere of military-technical cooperation”. In turn, Morales stressed the interest in cooperation with Rosatom, describing the plans to create the country’s largest center for the study of nuclear technology, which Russia will provide technology and Bolivia – investment of 300 million dollars, said Kremlin.ru

In addition, Putin promised to study the territorial claim of Bolivia to Chile and to engage in dialogue with Chile on the matter, said the foreign Minister of Bolivia David Choquehuanca: “they (the Russian side) little information, they need more data, and President Putin said they would examine (the issue), understanding the topic, and if you can to do something, do it, speak to Chile,” he explained. Recall that Bolivia requires Chile to provide it with access to the ocean.

GECF, which by analogy with the Organization of countries – exporters of oil are often called “gas OPEC”, brings together the countries leading in the world in the export of natural gas (in total about 45% of world gas exports). Members of the GECF are Russia, Algeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Libya, Nigeria, UAE, Trinidad and Tobago, and Equatorial Guinea. In addition, 6 countries, namely Oman, Netherlands, Peru, Norway, Kazakhstan and Iraq are observers, marks RIA “news”.

“Relations are developing rapidly”

Chief editor of the magazine “Problems of national strategy”, Russian Institute of strategic studies (RISS), a political analyst Azhdar Kurtov said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that Russia and Iran has no serious contradictions, and the bilateral relations are developing rapidly. The spokesman stressed that Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran should be divided into two parts: the part in the gas forum and the meeting with Iranian leaders.

“The forum of gas exporting countries is the structure, which was expected, its creators tried to make it a “gas OPEC”. But this has not happened for a number of reasons. No important decisions within the organization was not accepted. And now I don’t see any breakthrough agreements,” Kurt said.

“Russia and Iran have some contradictions, but they are not of fundamental nature. Iran supports radical Shia organizations such as Hezbollah. Russia, in turn, doesn’t want that and tries to avoid this line. Moscow is doing its utmost to protect this. But we stand in solidarity with Iran in one thing: the necessity of establishing a broad international coalition against ISIL,” the source said.

“Extensive common interests”

The expert stressed that progress in the development of relations between Iran and Russia is essential, and it is not like the United States. “Both Russia and Iran are independent centers of power. Washington, of course, didn’t like it. They don’t like sovereign and independent policies of the two States. Moreover, Russia and Iran are neighbors, before, we had a common border. We have a huge number of common interests in the security sphere in the region of the Middle East. Overall, I appreciate the dynamics of our relations”, – concluded the expert.

The person does not agree with the opinion of American analysts that once the sanctions against Iran are lifted, the country’s main gas competitor to Russia. Moreover, experts from the United States predict that as soon as the war subsides in Syria, Moscow and Tehran will compete for political and economic influence in the region.

“The fact that the mineral wealth of Iran was rich in natural gas long before the Syrian crisis. Iran is the second country in the world in natural gas reserves. But historically, the main export product of Iran was oil, and it largely goes to Asia. The level of exports of Iranian gas is very low. Many do not know, but Iran was supplying gas at the time, even in the USSR”, – said the expert.

“Iran is ruled by a Supreme leader, and he’s close relations with Russia”

Specialist on Iran, political analyst Igor Pankratenko said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that, in General, relations between Russia and Iran are developing successfully, however, all issues of bilateral relations one visit is not resolved.

The Syrian issue was one of the main in the course of negotiations of Vladimir Putin with Iranian leaders. “The Russian and Iranian position on Syria is completely identical except for one aspect which, incidentally, was discussed by Vladimir Putin and Ali Khamenei. We are talking about the future of Bashar al-Assad. Moscow believes that if there is a need for a political settlement in the departure of Bashar al Assad, it needs to be done. Iran categorically against it,” – said the expert.

“In other matters, we have close cooperation and understanding. Both Moscow and Tehran want to keep a holistic Syrian government. About the future format of the Syrian state speech does not go yet – the sides just not up to it. All the questions that have accumulated between our countries, one visit will not solve,” – said Igor Pankratenko.

The interviewer noted that, in General, the Iranian leadership is divided into two groups with different approaches to Russia. Iran is ruled by Supreme leader Rahbar and associated with the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps people, and they stand firmly on the standpoint of the development of relations with Russia. “The first level is the highest, the second is performing. The highest level consists of the Rahbar, his office, the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps. Performance level is the Iranian President, the Cabinet of Ministers”, – said Pankratenko.

“In this regard, the American media are right when they say that part of the political leadership of Iran do not want the development of relations with Moscow. We are talking about the level of performance. This Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and other members of the Cabinet. It is their position, they will not hide and openly promoting. This political group, Iranian officials said that Tehran is now closer ties with the US and the West and need to go in this direction. They, of course, is frankly disingenuous,” said the source.

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