The Russians have made it absolutely clear over the course of the day that they disagree with the Trump administration’s increasingly confrontational policy towards Iran.
In a succession of what were clearly coordinated statements top Russian officials have made it clear that they will not sacrifice their relations with Iran in return for better relations with the US.
First off was President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who made clear Moscow’s disagreement with Donald Trump’s description of Iran as “the world’s number one terrorist state”
We disagree with this postulate. You all know that Russia has good relations of partnership with Iran and we cooperate with that country on a number of issues. We appreciate our relations in the trading and economic sphere and we hope for their further development
Iran has never been found linked to Islamic State or Jabhat al-Nusra. Moreover, Iran makes its own contribution to the struggle against the Islamic State. We have long pressed for creating a genuinely universal front of struggle against terrorism. I am certain that if we make an unbiased approach to the potential members of such a coalition, Iran must be part of our common efforts
This came after Russia also made known its disagreement with the latest sanctions the US has imposed on Iran.
There has been some speculation – including supposedly from anonymous US administration officials – that the Russians might be prepared to sacrifice its relationship with Iran in return for a detente with a Trump led US.
The Russians are making it as clear as they can that they have absolutely no intention of doing anything like this.
Though Russia’s relations with Iran have not been without friction (consider for example the episode of the sudden cancellation of Iranian permission for Russia to use Hamadan air base last year), the Russians are making it clear that they will not let their relations with Iran or any other country be made hostage to a possible improvement of relations with the US.
Tehran will undoubtedly be listening and will be relieved.