More on Russia and Iran
I’ve been puzzling for some time over the reasons behind the cozy relationship between traditional adversaries Russia and Iran. Marriage of convenience? The enemy of my enemy, etc.?
It’s the southern route that is most threatening to Russia because unlike the Caucuses, Iran is not historically “bandit country” where grievances are relatively easy to stir up and profound instability is just a few strategic tribal/clan murders away. Iran is historically its own creature, a regional and sometimes world class power that is difficult to disrupt. It’s also the swiftest route for Caspian energy to hit the sea at which point it can go all over the world, including the EU. Russia’s strategy of political impunity through energy dominance of Europe is history if a stable post-mullah regime emerges in Iran.
Is Russia supporting the mullahs in Iran, however hazardous to Russian interests (not to mention to the Iranians themselves) that regime might be because a decent, stable, responsible regime in Iran would injure Russian economic and, as TM Lutas suggests, geopolitical interests? It’s certainly consistent with the subversion from within strategy that the Soviet Union pursued rather successfully, well, practically everywhere and in the Middle East in particular.
Certainly an intriguing suggestion that has the virtue of explaining the otherwise inexplicable.