Russian President’s Visit To Tehran Highlights Shift Towards Multi-Polar System

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads to Iran to deepen ties with regional heavyweights, including Iran and Turkey. According to The Times of Israel, the visit is aimed at discussing the situation in Syria, in addition to the UN-backed proposal to resume exports of Ukrainian wheat as the global food sector is grappling in the midst of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

As the west heaps sweeping sanctions on Russia and the costly military campaign drags on, Putin is seeking to boost ties with Iran. Last week, officials from Moscow visited an airfield in Central Iran at least two times to examine Tehran’s drones for possible use in the Ukraine war.

If Putin’s visit is to tell us anything, it is that we are moving towards a multipolar system. Frankly speaking, Biden’s visit to the Middle East has little to do with strengthening ties with the Arabs. Gulf leaders are not naïve to believe that Biden’s visit entails a strategic transformation in the American vision.

Frankly speaking, it is a move triggered by the Ukrainian war. Though, frankly speaking, the US is shifting it is attention back to the region, we have doubts that Biden’s move is aimed at pooling more resources in the Middle East. Still, the Indo-Pacific presents a top priority to the Biden administration.

When it comes to Iran, Biden has aborted any attempts aimed at revitalizing the shaky Iranian deal. By threatening to use violence against Tehran, Biden has, unintentionally, accelerated Russia’s attempts to bring Iran into It is security orbit. The Russian- Iranian- Turkish summit offers Putin the opportunity to boost ties with another regional player, Turkey. In the past weeks, Ankara has been blocking efforts from Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. Grappling with soaring rates of inflation, Russia remains an attractive market for Turkey.

Domestically, Putin’s visit to Tehran will have an impact on Putin’s reputation, too. If the summit shows anything, it is that Russia still has friends in the region despite international efforts to isolate Moscow.

Rather than supporting Russia in Ukraine, Iran has other motives for getting close to Moscow, Abdolrasool Divsallar, a visiting professor of Middle Eastern studies at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, said. With the nuclear talks now at a standstill, “Iran might just want to show the West that it has an alternative, that it can have an influence that goes beyond the Middle East,” he added.  

Hamidreza Azizi, a Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, said Iran’s rapprochement with Russia stems from a mutual worldview and has continued to deepen over the past decades.  

Both countries position themselves against the US domination of international relations and both share an ambition to counter it,” Azizi said. “In addition, the tensions between Iran and Western powers have risen continuously, ever since the Islamic republic was founded in 1979,” he added.

In short, it has become clear that Russia is rebuilding itself. The latest visit of President Biden to the Middle East to grab as much oil as he can show that the US is affected by the Ukraine crisis, too. Despite the international condemnation, Moscow has been able to find an alternative. Both China and Russia are building their own financial institutions. The Gulf, too, is winning this round against Washington. Economically and political speaking, Biden’s visit to the Middle East has shown once again that Washington cannot wish away it is old allies, not even through a shaky deal with Iran. Hence, it has become clear that the one who seems to be losing in this game is Washington.




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