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October 25, 2015 6:23 am

Russia Is Using Iran for Its Own Interests

avatar by Behrooz Behbudi

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.

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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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