Iran-Russia Relations: New Opportunities and Existing Problems
Iran and Russia have had increasing and changing relations from 1991 to 2021. At first glance, the close political relationship of Russia and Iran has been on the bilateral, regional, and international levels. Tehran and Moscow have fluctuating political, economic, and technical-military trade, so the level of economic and trade cooperation has remained less than $ 4 billion over three decades. Despite their cooperation in three major regional crises, this cooperation lacked institutionalization and lasting mechanisms. On the international level, Iran and Russia emphasize a multipolar and multilateral international system and oppose double standards on human rights and the protection of the UN Security Council, pursuing a common policy in this regard. At the same time, however, this does not mean that there are no problems in Iran-Russia ties, and the general trend of relations shows that despite common interests and threats, these relations have not been lasting and long-term ones and therefore have been faced with problems and limitations. The main question is why do Iran-Russia ties face problems such as limited trade, short-term regional cooperation, and being influenced by other international actors? In this article, it is observed that attitudes and programmes presented by domestic and international media, Russia’s regional balance policy, and Iran’s behaviour outside the international system have limited the level and depth of relations between the two states. To examine this hypothesis, the author first looks at the trend of relations over the last three decades and then discusses the opportunities and possibilities that affect these relations. Finally, he reviews and analyses the existing problems and obstacles hindering stable relations.
Belobrov, Y. Y. (2014). Modern Russian – Iranian Relations: Challenges and Opportunities. In Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). Working Paper. No. 14. 62 p.
Druzhilovskii, S. B. (2015). Rossiisko-iranskie otnosheniya posle sozdaniya Islamskoi Respubliki Iran [Russian-Iranian Relations after the Creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran]. In Dunaeva, E. V., Sazhina, V. I. (Eds.). Rossiisko-iranskie otnosheniya. Problemy i perspektivy. Moscow, Institut vostokovedeniya. 260 p.
Dutkevich, P. (2021). Ne raskolot’ strausinoe yaitso. Tsentral’naya Aziya posle ukhoda SShA i NATO iz Afganistana [The Ostrich Egg Cannot Be Cracked: Central Asia after US and NATO Withdrawal from Afghanistan]. In Rossiya v global’noi politike [website]. 6 July. URL: https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/ne-raskolot-strausinoe-yajczo (accessed: 14.12.2021).
Ehteshami, A., Gawdat, B. (2019). Iran’s Asianization Strategy. In Perteghella, A. (Ed.). Iran Looking East, an Alternative to the EU? Milan, ISPI Report, No. 29, pp. 11–40.
Grajewski, N. (2020). Russia and Iran in Greater Eurasia. In Middle East Insight. No. 239. July 14, pp. 1–7 [electronic resource]. URL: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54db7b69e4b00a5e4b11038c/t/5f0ee32c763da63047c66def/1594811183422/B%26B_MEI_Grajewski_Russia_Essay.pdf/ (accessed: 15.11.2021).
Karami, J. (2019). Syasate ourasyaeie Iran, enghelabe eslami va syasate khareji. In Faslnameye syasate. Vol. 32. No. 4, pp. 159–200.
Katz, M. (2018). Russia and Iran: Common Interests, Ongoing Differences and Growing Risks. In The London School of Economics and Political Sciences [website]. May 7. URL: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2018/05/07/russia-and-iran-common-interestsongoing-differences-and-growing-risks/ (accessed: 02.11.2020).
Khamenei, A. (2007). Didare raeise jomhurie Roussye ba rahbare enghelab. In Khamenei.ir [website]. URL: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=38052 (accessed: 06.01.2021).
Khamenei, A. (2017). Didare raeise jomhurie Roussye ba rahbare enghelab. In Khamenei.ir [website]. URL: https://www.leader.ir/19702/ (accessed: 10.01.2021).
Khamenei, A. (2018). Didare raeise jomhurie Roussye ba rahbare enghelab. In Khamenei.ir [website]. URL: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=40426 (accessed: 10.01.2021).
Kozhanov, N. (2015). Understanding the Revitalization of Russian-Iranian Relations. In Carnegie Moscow Center. May, pp. 1–30.
Kozhanov, N. (2016). Brak po paschetu: perspektivy rossiisko-iranskogo regional’nogo sotrudnichestva [Marriage of Convenience: Prospects for Russian-Iranian Regional Cooperation]. In Rossiya v global’noi politike [website]. No. 3. Sept. URL: https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/brak-po-raschetu/ (accessed: 15.08.2020).
Kramer, A. E. (2014). Russia Reaches Deal with Iran to Construct Nuclear. In The New York Times [website]. Nov. 11. URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/europe/russia-to-build-2-nuclear-plants-in-iran-and-possibly-6-more.html / (accessed: 12.01.2021).
Krumm, R. (2010). The Medvedev Factor, Russia’s Desire to Modernize. In International Policy Analysis [website], pp. 1–18. URL: https://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/ipa/07656.pdf/ (accessed: 20.01.2021).
Lister, C. (2019). Russia, Iran, and the Competition to Shape Syria’s Future. In MEI@75 [website]. Sept. 12. URL: https://www.mei.edu/publications/russia-iran-and-competitionshape-syrias-future/ (accessed: 26.02.2021).
Parker, J. (2009). Persian Dreams, Moscow and Tehran since the Fall of Shah. Washington, Potomac Books. 422 p.
Rasoulinezhad, E., Popova, L. (2017). An Estimation of the Impact of Economic Sanctions and Oil Price Shocks on Iran-Russian Trade. In Iranian Economic Rev. Vol. 21. No. 3, pp. 469–497. DOI 10.22059/IER.2017.62926.
Rumer, E. (2019). Russia in the Middle East: Jack of All Trades, Master of None. In Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [website]. Oct. 31, pp. 1–63. URL: https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/10/31/russia-in-middle-east-jack-of-all-trades-master-ofnone-pub-80233/ (accessed: 28.03.2021).
Sanaei, M., Karami, J. (2021). Iran’s Eastern Policy: Potential and Challenges. In Russia in Global Affairs. No. 3, pp. 25–49. DOI 10.31278/1810-6374-2021-19-3-25-49.
Smagin, N. (2021). EAEU – Iran Trade and Its Prospects. In Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) [website]. Apr. 6, pp. 1–8. URL: https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-andcomments/analytics/eaeu-iran-trade-and-its-prospects/ (accessed: 14.11.2021).
Tabrizi, A. B. (2018). Iran’s Relations with Russia: From Tactical to Strategic. In London School of Economics and Political Sciences [website]. May 4. URL: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2018/05/04/irans-relations-with-russia-from-tactical-to-strategic/ (accessed: 07.01.2021).
Trenin, D. (2016). Rossiya i Iran: nedoverie v proshlom i sotrudnichestvo v nastoyashchem [Russia and Iran: Mistrust in the Past and Cooperation in the Present]. In Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [website]. 8 Sept. URL: https://carnegie.ru/publications/64508 (accessed: 15.08.2020).
Value of Russian Trade in Goods (Export, Import and, Trade Balance) with Iran from 2005 to 2021 (in Million US Dollars). (N. d.). In Statista [website]. URL: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1025404/ (accessed: 12.09.2022).
Velayati, A. A. (2018). Ravabete Iran va Russye rahbordi va jame. In Aftab anlain [website]. Aug. 18. URL: https://www.aftabir.com/news/article/view/2016/08/17/1395362 (accessed: 10.06.2021).
Ziabari, K. (2022). Despite Official Hype of a “Strategic Partnership,” Iranian Public is Skeptical of Russia. In MEI@75 [website]. Aug 15. URL: https://www.mei.edu/publications/despite-official-hype-strategic-partnership-iranian-public-skeptical-russia/ (accessed: 25.05.2022).