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Iran have spread their wings Russian
Material posted: Publication date: 19-08-2016
The intensification of military cooperation with Russia in Syria turns Tehran into a global player.

The use of Russian long-range aviation airfield Iranian Hamadan key importance for operations against anti-government forces in Syria, changing the alignment in the middle East. The new leader of the strategic regions with predominant Sunni countries is becoming Shiite Iran. According to respondents ' b ' experts, providing Russia a base for strikes against the Islamists in Syria, Iran solves its own tasks different from the tasks of Russia. Chief among them is the new bargain with the West and the strengthening of the position in the confrontation with Saudi Arabia. Military partnership with Moscow becomes freed from sanctions, Iran's instrument for transforming it into a global player.

"We are seeing euphoria"

Air and space forces of Russia are increasing their efforts to combat radical Islamist groups in Syria, using an air base in the Iranian city of Hamadan. "Long-range bombers Tu-22M3 and front-line bomber su-34 taking off from airbases on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, caused an air strike on the terrorist group "Islamic state" in the province of Deir ez-Zor," reported yesterday, the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation.


On the page of the military Department in Facebook posted a video of Russian aviation destroys the infrastructure in the Russian Federation banned the "Islamic state", including weapons depots, ammunition and fuels and lubricants. In addition, according to the military, yesterday, and the day defeated six command centers, destroyed a large number of fighters, artillery positions and armored vehicles of terrorists".

In Moscow and Tehran expect that beginning 16 August, the use of the FSI Russian Iranian airbase as "airfields" for strikes on ISIS and other terrorist groups will change the course of the entire Syrian campaign. In particular, the presence of Iranian foothold can play a crucial role in the ongoing battle for the second largest Syrian city of Aleppo.

"Currently, we are witnessing the euphoria over the increased operating capabilities of Russia thanks to the new cooperation with Iran in Syria. Such cooperation promises to Moscow, to enhance its geopolitical presence in the middle East region,"— said in a conversation with "Kommersant" the expert of the Russian international Affairs Council (RIAC) Maxim Suchkov.

Russian-Iranian precedent


However, in Tehran the decision to give Moscow the right to use air base at Hamadan was made easy. Erupted on this occasion a short but heated debate was caused by the fact that in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, established in 1979 after the overthrow of the Pro-Western regime of the Shah, there was no precedent for the use of its territory by the armed forces of a foreign state.

"The proposal to give Russia the infrastructure of the airbase Hamadan has irritated the conservative part of the Iranian Parliament. The opposition warned that the emergence of the Russian military base on the territory of Iran would be contrary to the Constitution, which stipulates the ban on the stay of foreign troops",— explained "Kommersant" a senior researcher in the Center for the study of the Middle East Institute of Oriental studies Lana Ravandi-Fadai. According to the expert, to appease the conservatives had the speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani, has explained: it is not about creating a Russian military base, and the use of the airport in Hamadan solely for the implementation of the flights of Russian aviation in Syria. At the same time Mr. Larijani reminded critics that last year Moscow and Tehran agreed to establish the anti-terrorist coalition to combat ISIS, the existence of which requires enhanced cooperation in Syria.

However, assurances that base is not given into the possession of Russia, did not stop. Ali Larijani had to use additional arguments, intended to convince Iranian lawmakers that a new deal with Moscow and Tehran will win and not lose. He said that Moscow shares the position of Tehran on the conflict in Yemen and generally has a "correct understanding" of the situation in the region.

The settlement of the civil conflict in Yemen in recent weeks, appeared to be jeopardy after the air force of Saudi Arabia and its allies are sworn enemies of Iran in the middle East — launched the operation against the rebels of the Houthi Shia "Ansar Allah" on the side of which is Tehran. In Moscow, however, this issue is underlined maintain a neutral position.

New risks for Moscow

Go unnoticed in Russia, the debate in Iran about the wisdom of deepening military-technical cooperation with Moscow on the Syrian issue was the reaffirmation of "temporality" or "conventions" of the new Alliance of two key players in the Syrian settlement. Although Russia and Iran have the same goal — to prevent a violent change of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and prevent the disintegration of the Syrian state, their interests in Syria and the middle East, in General, coincide not always. The original resistance of Iranian conservatives to the new rapprochement with Moscow proves to push this decision the Iranian leadership will now be forced to show his critics is a strong argument in favor of the legality of the appearance of Russian long-range aviation at the airport in Hamadan.

"In Moscow, while few people are wondering about the actual Iranian interest in providing videoconferencing Russia the possibility of temporary military base in Hamadan. Meanwhile, in addition to specific targets in Syria, including the need to support government forces and their control over key territories, Iran uses military-technical cooperation with Russia for solving problems of broader regional dominance",— said "Kommersant" RIAC expert Maxim Suchkov. According to him, "Tehran is an opportunity to raise the stakes in their long-standing confrontation with Saudi Arabia, to improve its own geopolitical status and weight.

According to respondents ' b ' experts, in the Iranian-Saudi confrontation, prefers to stay above the fray, it is important not to become part of the Iranian mnogohodovki. "This development, firstly, would contribute to the depletion of resources of Russian foreign policy in the region, and secondly, would distract from the real task of ensuring the security of the country", says Maxim Suchkov.

Agree with this position, the expert of the Moscow Carnegie center Alexei Malashenko. "By providing Russian aviation your base, Iran has several purposes. First, he gets a new strong argument for bargaining with the West — the ability to recall the Alliance with Russia, which delivers Iran a reliable rear. Second, it is possible to send Saudi Arabia a clear signal that with the appearance of Russian long-range aviation in Hamadan in Iran appears in the region of reliable Russian cover. In General, the cooperation with Moscow to Tehran becomes a tool to position yourself already not a regional but a global player",— said Mr. Malashenko.

However, according to experts, at some point Tehran may well cease to play the "Russian card" in relations with the West and its regional opponents. One of the prerequisites would be an economic rapprochement with the USA and EU countries, thanks to which the previous bargaining with them and attempts to play on contradictions between world powers will lose meaning. "If the geopolitical weather changes, the base in Hamadan Moscow could close. We should not forget that Iran is a Persian cat that walks by itself",— summarises Aleksey Malashenko.

Sergey Strokan


Tags: Iran , Russia , Syria

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