Amid the ongoing raging war between Moscow and Kyiv, Russia and Iran are said to be strengthening ties in an attempt to counter Western sanctions imposed on the two nations. According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Iran and Russia have grown closer than ever as global isolation has pushed the two US adversaries into greater trade and military collaboration. He further noted that both countries are subject to harsh Western sanctions and often express strong opposition to the US-led international system.
“Until this year, their relationship had been weighed down by competing agendas in Syria, by Iran’s historic suspicion of foreign interference, and by Russia’s historic role as the dominant power in Central Asia and the Caucasus,” the WSJ reported. He further noted that a stronger Russian-Iranian alliance would help both countries reduce the impact of Western sanctions by opening new markets for their goods and enhancing military cooperation. According to some sources, bilateral trade between Moscow and Tehran has increased by 10% this year. According to the Russian government, trade between the two nations has increased by 80% to $4 billion in 2021.
Russia asks for help from Iran to compensate for declining trade
Due to its isolation from the West, harsh sanctions and supply problems, Russia is increasingly looking to Iran to try to compensate for its declining trade with Europe. . Meanwhile, Western diplomats believe Russia intends to use Iran as a backdoor to circumvent sanctions and sell oil if the Iran nuclear deal is renewed. “Iran is a good partner in this endeavor. Russia has difficulties and Iran has capability,” Politico quoted one of the Western diplomats as saying.
It should be noted here that Russia has turned to the Middle East, Africa and Asia for trade and political assistance since the start of the war in Ukraine. According to reports, Russia has also turned to Iran as a source of expertise in order to adapt to new sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries. Russia is seeking to learn from Iran’s expertise in areas such as circumventing banking restrictions and servicing aircraft without access to widely available Western parts. Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin also held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on July 19.