Russia reaches out to Iran

A recurring feature of the Russian-Iranian relationship is that it mostly languishes on the horizon but can be trusted to move to the center stage whenever there is a criticality in the Middle East situation. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made a point recently in an interview with the Russian media when he described Iran as the “most significant neighbor” of Russia, which stands in the way of the Western strategy to encircle Russia.

The message was unmistakable: “You need us more than we need you.’ To be sure, Russian-Iranian relationship is tiptoeing to the center stage. The steady erosion of the “reset” in the ties between the United States and Russia provides the big backdrop.

Meanwhile, the US-Iran standoff has aggravated lately, calibrated largely by the Jewish lobby in America, which exploits the overall

drift in the Barack Obama administration. Other templates are also appearing which draw Moscow and Tehran together – the US’s missile defense program, the Turkish question, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Against this backdrop, Moscow has hurriedly scheduled an intensive strategic dialogue with Tehran during the coming fortnight. Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev is heading for Tehran next weekend and immediately thereafter Salehi is paying an official visit to Moscow.

It appears that ignoring the US-Israeli protestations, Tehran and Moscow are finally going ahead …

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