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October 25, 2015 6:23 am

Russia Is Using Iran for Its Own Interests

avatar by Behrooz Behbudi

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Russian President Valdimir Putin speaks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone. Photo: Screenshot / PressTV.

Russian President Valdimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Screenshot / PressTV.

Historically, the interference of Russia in Iranian affairs has been detrimental to the national interests of Iran and the Iranian people.

Politically, Russian support for the despotic rule of the Qajar kings played a major factor in the suppression of the democratic Constitution Revolution of 1905 in Iran.

And when the post-World War II era brought a period of freedom to Iran, culminating in the rise of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh’s government, it was partly the pro-Moscow Tudeh Party’s misleading policies that effectively led to Mossadegh’s downfall in 1953.

In the ensuing years, Iran’s left-wing underground groups who opposed the Shah’s rule were infiltrated by the remnants of the Tudeh Party members who had escaped Iran to live in Moscow and Communist East Germany. They helped bring about the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic 36 years ago, Russia has played an even more destructive role in Iranian affairs.

The most visible of these Russian policies have included averting regime change through coups and wars; diluting the effects of international sanctions; enhancing Moscow’s diplomatic leverage on international affairs by limiting U.S. influence in the Middle East; and advancing energy and economic cooperation with the despotic Iranian regime.

For the last decade, Russian support for the Islamic Republic has been focused on exploiting the nuclear dispute between Tehran and the international community — while at the same time boosting Russian military links with Iran’s de facto army, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Russia has taken full advantage of the paranoia of Iran’s religious leadership toward the West by supplying Iran with second-rate military equipment at astronomical sums.

In Syria, Iran’s continued support of Assad’s dictatorial regime has been an integral part of Russia’s foreign policy in the Middle East — and the growing political and military ties between Tehran and Moscow have become even stronger since the Iran nuclear deal was signed in July.

The IRGC has become a (if not the) major player in Iran due to the country’s foreign military adventures. Last week, it aired a video clip of extensive underground tunnels packed with missiles on Iranian national television, which was another attempt to undermine President Rouhani and the Iranian civilian government.

The IRGC has been emboldened by Russia, and is helping to advance its interest in the region. Russia must stop working to undermine democracy in Iran, as it is the only viable path towards peace in the Middle East.

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  • Theo Atwood

    The problem with Iran is that it is run by a regime that claims to be speaking for the “oppressed of the world” and hence it puts its finger in every pie in other countries. In reality the most oppressed people of the world at this moment of time are actually the Iranian people themselves who live under a brutal and medieval regime that tries to control every single action by them.
    And it comes as no surprise to the Iranian people that the ruling mullahs are serving the interests of the Russians because the Communists, if we can call the present Russian leadership as such, are masters of manipulation of people’s minds and behaviour through similar brain washing techniques and dictatorship.
    When Khomeini came to power he said his foreign policy will be based on “neither east nor west”. Now that both Obama and Putin appease to the mullahs in every sense, the emptiness of this slogan has become obvious, albeit at the cost of Iran losing its independence, peace and the prosperity that it once had before the arrival of the Islamic republic.

  • Ali Vaseghi

    The comment by Matt Emad is a typical pro-Russian bankrupted Middle Eastern and Muslim “intellectual” version of history whose political lifeline is its anti-Americanism, while comfortably closing their eyes to the imperialistic aims of the big brother that they once adored.

    His almost boring list of US interventions in Iran are clearly known to the Iranian people more than what he tries to teach us as an outsider non-Iranian. He badly fails to explain the behind the scene plots of the very American and other Western governments, and the Russians through Tudeh Party and Fadayeen Khalgh lefwingers, which kick started 36 years the collapse of the Middle East by bringing to power the reactionary regime of the clerics in Iran. Wake up Mr Emad. Wake up!

  • Matt emad

    Some points:

    Why should only Iran’s gov be criticised over democracy and human rights and regional actions, what about the US puppet regimes who created and fund ISIS.

    You say that Russia directly or indirectly effectively lead to Dr Mossadegh’s downfall. are you not aware that the CIA and Mi5 with an operation named Ajax, carried out a coup d’etat in 1953 and deposed Dr Mossadegh and installed the dictatorship of the Shah.

    Perhaps you are the only one who isnt aware of that.

    If you are so against a government having a relations with Russia, I am sure you are fuming at the Shahs regime being a US puppet.

    You criticise Russia’s role in the Middle East but yet you refuse to acknowledge the role of the US and Israel, in creating wars and supporting dictatorships and detriments to the people of the Middle East and their aspirations of democracy and independence.
    i will give you few examples of US complicity
    Pre 1979: Bringing to power and supporting the Regime of the Shah with militarily, politically and with security including training his SAVAK to repress and kill these very democracy activists you claim to support,
    Post 1979: Putting inhumane sanctions on the people, including medical and safety related.
    Shooting down an Iranian civilian Airliner,
    Supporting another US backed dictatorships likes Saddam and Kuwait to attack Iran,
    constantly threatening a US attack on Iran.

    Rest of Middle East:
    Supporting Israel’s occupation and occasional genocide against the Palestinians, and to wipe Palestine off the map.
    Supporting some of the worse anti democratic and anti human rights regimes and other dictatorships like Saudi, the Gulf States and Egypt.
    Executing an illegal war based on pure lies in Iraq to gain control of the country and access to oil in Iraq,
    Letting saudis and other wahabi states create , finance and arm ISIS and all its genocide just to counter Shia Iran in Syria just because Assad is an Iran alley.

    So if you want to be taken seriously, try to be neutral and objective.

  • Abdulrazak Said

    Very sad article to read what does the current Russian policy have to do with that of the USSR’s policy 100 years ago towards around

    • Matt emad

      This is a Israel website, they just want to criticise anyone against US and Israel like Russia.

  • Emanuel

    As AMERICANS what does it say about our government and leadership when we look to Russia as a moral compass? I hope Trump wins the election the alternative is chaos.

  • Manouchehr Hosseinzadeh

    Although I agree with much of what you have said, I strongly disagree with your comment about Tudeh Party. Tudeh party’s (along with Ayatollah Kashani) mistake was not to support Mussadeq hence created the crisis that allowed the United State take advantage of situation and force Shah on Iranian people. No excuse can exonerate the United States for what it did to Iranian people. Countries dear Sr. have the right to write their own history. This the natural right of people and the United States has repeatedly violated this cardinal principle in many countries around the world. Russia also has been unkind to Iran but at this time in mind of Iranians the United States is the enemy of Iranian people for recently it has been the United States that has inflected horrible pain on Iranian people. The problem Sr. is American exceptionalism otherwise political conflict is part of the overall social system and not unique to Iran.

    • Matt emad

      i agree with all you said, Mr Hoaseinzadeh