Iran and Russia continue to enjoy historically good relations under the friendship that has developed between Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani who has just been sworn in to his second term in office. Vladimir Putin will be among the heads of state attending Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is currently in Tehran for meetings with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan. Russia and Iran aim to sign a large agreement for weapons sales, thus further cementing the good relations between the two countries that have been mutually targeted by US sanctions along with North Korea.
An Iranian source told Sputnik that already, Russia and Iran,
“…have reached a tentative agreement to increase military and technical and technological cooperation after both countries have been included to the sanctions list”.
The fact of the matter is that Putin and Rogozin along with a fairly substantial Russian delegation were set to visit Tehran for Rouhani’s swearing in, irrespective of US sanctions. Furthermore, Iranian and Russia cooperation in many areas from infrastructure to defence was also set to continue in spite of US-Iran or US-Russia relations.
Russia is furthermore supportive of Iran’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which will help to integrate Iran into China’s One Belt–One Road trade and commerce initiative which Tehran remains enthusiastic about. Crucially One Belt–One Road is not an initiative that is dependant on the United States.
In this sense, the sanctions have certainly galvanised countries like Russia, Iran and North Korea, but far from changing anyone’s course, the sanctions have merely reinforced existing partnerships by making the objective truth that the US will never see sovereignty minded states as equals, doubly clear.
In his initial response to the sanctions, Donald Trump lamented that the new US law would only draw Russia, Iran and North Korea closer together. It seems that Trump was right.