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December 4, 2015 4:41 am

The Unholy Alliance of Russia and Iran

avatar by Behrooz Behbudi

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Photo: Wikipedia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Photo: Wikipedia.

In dismissing the criticisms of his domestic political foes, the late Shah of Iran used to describe them as coming from an alliance of the Reds (pro-Moscow left-wing groups) and the Blacks (the reactionary clerics who opposed his liberal reforms). What connected the two seemingly opposite sides was their common enmity towards the West, represented by the United States.

Thirty-six years after the Shah’s fall, his worst nightmare seems to have come true, as a regime that rules Iran under the false banner of Islam has now allied with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The Russian leader’s visit to Iran last week, ostensibly to take part in an international conference of natural gas-producing countries, was deliberately perverted by Tehran and Moscow to demonstrate this unholy alliance to the world.

A  former foreign minister and an advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was so excited about the encounter that he described it as “the best and the most important diplomatic event in the whole history of the Islamic Republic.”

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Though neither side has said anything about the topics of the Putin-Khamenei talks, it is not hard to imagine that the main chunk of their discussions concerned how to save the Assad regime in Syria and their facade of countering the Islamic State.

However, these shared foreign policy objectives of Moscow and Tehran show us only one side of the coin,. According to the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), Iran’s [and Russia’s?] ultimate aim is “to drive the US out of the Middle East.”

Such bold ambitions would not have been made public had the Western democracies shown robust leadership in face of Russian neo-imperialism and Iranian totalitarianism.

Indeed, for many Iranians the Putin-Khamenei alliance spells further damage to their true national interest, given the historically manipulative policies of Moscow towards Iran.

The Iranian people hardly have any say about what is being done in their name in Syria, which is currently the greatest security crisis in the world with untold human tragedies.

I have continuously supported the struggle of my people — the Iranian people — for democracy, human rights, social justice, and gender equality in Iran. I will continue to do so until these noble ideals are achieved.

It is my unwavering belief that the peace in Syria, and the wider Middle East, will only be achieved through the removal of the despotic system of the Velayate Faghih (rule of Khamenei) and its replacement with a secular democratic system of government.

The Western governments may organize as many peace conferences about Syria as they wish. However, so long as they appease Khamenei and his associates in the Revolutionary Guard, the bloodshed in the Middle East will continue.

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