Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug 2
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Moscow and Tehran may unite in view of the pressure exerted on them by the US and its new sanctions.
Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s special representative for the Middle East and African countries, has been recently discussing this topic with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari at the meeting in Moscow on Aug 1.
Meanwhile, the US House voted 419-3 in favor of new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea on July 25.
US Senate approved this bill on July 27. The bill must be signed in by the US President, for the sanctions to go into effect.
"These are absolutely illegitimate actions, which do not contribute to mutual understanding and trust between us and the Americans," Bogdanov said at a meeting with Ansari, also attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Russian Federation Mehdi Sanai.
Bogdanov hinted that from now on, Russia and US will not have congruent approaches to the situation in the region, in particular, apparently, even in Syria.
"US sanctions do not leave us with prospects of ability to coordinate our approaches to a number of regional issues, including relations with Iran," he said.
This is a very interesting statement, due to the fact that Moscow and Washington have had common ground on regional issues, especially on Syria, which has not pleased Iran.
Iran was carefully observing the situation, when after Donald Trump’s inauguration Russia began to make attempts of amplification of the level of interaction over Syria with Washington.
The ceasefire agreement in south-western Syria, concluded under the auspices of Russia and the United States, and agreed upon during the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg on July 7, has testified to that notion.
Iran, at that time, unequivocally opposed such initiatives, fearing, apparently, that the amicable Russia-US coalition in Syria bears risks to Tehran’s influence in the region. Nevertheless, imposition of new sanctions by the US has radically changed the situation.
Bogdanov said that currently Russia and Iran are coordinating specific measures for the settlement of Syrian conflict.
Moscow reacted to the US sanctions by making an ambivalent decision to amplify its relations with another sanction-affected side – Iran.
Moscow may support Iran, in case of its withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has recently spoken about this possibility in an interview with The National Interest magazine.
If Iran withdraws from the deal and reverts to its nuclear program, Russia may use the right of veto and ban the re-introduction of Iran's nuclear file to the Security Council, which will prevent the imposition of new UN sanctions on Iran. Thereby, US, itself, have done everything in the way of unifying two biggest countries in the region against Washington.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service, follow her on Twitter:@EmmaTariver