Cooperation with the US over Iran makes sense for other reasons. Iran, as a major oil and gas producer, is a potential rival to Russia for the supply of energy to Europe.
Alexei Mukhin of the Center for Political Information says this is a reason for Russia to observe the development of Iranian – U.S. relations.
“The United States is the only ally in this respect for Russia, as it too is not really thrilled about the idea of Iran being a permanent energy source for Europe,” he said.
Yet, Russia has shown that it does not want to destabilise its relationship with Iran, which has several benefits. First, Russia and Iran are trade partners. Iran exports plastics, fruit and vegetables, among other things, to Russia.
Second, Iran has been given observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which signifies that Russia wants to keep it as a player in Central Asia, an area it wants to protect from US control.
But the extent of this relationship seems limited.