RUSSIA ii. IRANIAN-SOVIET RELATIONS – Encyclopaedia Iranica
The deepening connection between Russia and Iran was reflected . For centuries, the neighboring Russian and Persian empires were rivals. Irano-Russian relations particularly picked up again following the death of Nader Shah and the. Russia sees itself as a superpower, not as Iran's equal. We never had we have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian army for Moscow and Tehran developed close relations since the multilateral nuclear deal was.
Indeed, one of the goals of the Obama administration's effort to reset Russian-American relations was to obtain greater help from Moscow on the Iranian nuclear issue. Init appeared that this policy was highly successful.
In JuneRussia joined with the United States and most other members of the UN Security Council in imposing increased sanctions on Iran for its continued non-cooperation on the nuclear issue.
President Medvedev reverted to the earlier Russian line: Two developments in particular may have contributed to it. Russia has not been modernizing its nuclear-weapons arsenal at the same rate that America has, and Moscow was desperate to get Washington to agree to the limits imposed by New START. Otherwise, it would be difficult for Moscow to match the American strategic nuclear arsenal. Senate's ratification of it was very much in doubt, due to Republican concerns about Russia.
Russian cooperation with the United States on additional UN Security Council sanctions against Iran in June and Moscow's announcement in September that it would not ship Ss to Tehran may have been motivated to some degree by a Russian desire to allay these Republican concerns.
The second factor has been the democratic uprisings that have shaken the Middle East since the start of Moscow did not seem perturbed by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia in Januarynor did it seem unduly upset by the overthrow of Egypt's Mubarak in February But when serious opposition to the regime of Muamar Qadhafi arose in Libya, Putin and Medvedev expressed opposition to the democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East.
Indeed, Medvedev implied that these uprisings were instigated to foster a similar phenomenon in Russia and break up the country. In seeming contradiction to these sentiments, however, Russia as well as China abstained on the UN Security Council Resolution authorizing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya. However, while Moscow and Beijing effectively allowed the West to launch military action against Libya through their abstentions, Moscow then reverted to criticizing the West for undertaking it.
Both have portrayed the domestic opposition to the Assad regime as being inspired by foreign powers Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the West. Moscow, along with Beijing, has so far staunchly refused to permit the passage of any UN Security Council resolution merely imposing sanctions on the Syrian government. In light of the Libyan experience, it seems highly doubtful they would allow the passage of a resolution authorizing the use of force against the Assad regime.
What accounts for Moscow's more sanguine view of democratic revolution in Tunisia and Egypt but opposition to it in Libya and Syria? This may be due to how Moscow views the differing geopolitical impacts on Russia of change in these countries. The authoritarian regimes that were ousted in Tunisia and Egypt had been closely allied to the United States. If their new governments maintain these ties, there will be no geopolitical change. But if they move away from Washington, there may be an opportunity for Russia to gain some influence — or at least more business.
Libya, though, was a different story. While Qadhafi's relations with the United States had improved sinceRussia's relations with him had been better for longer. Syria has been even closer to Moscow as well as more hostile to America. Moscow is also concerned about the prospects of diminished Russian influence in Iran.
Russian analysts have long worried that an Iranian-American rapprochement could result in Western firms' crowding out Russian ones in Iran. Beyond this, they want to prevent Washington from working with Tehran to provide an alternative route to Russia for the export of Caspian Basin oil and gas. A democratic revolution in Iran, then, could — in Moscow's view — have profoundly negative geopolitical consequences for Russia and positive ones for America.
We cannot, of course, be completely positive that the U. Senate's December ratification of New START, as well as the democratic uprisings in the Middle East that began incaused the Kremlin to back off from its previous support for the Obama administration's policy toward Iran over the nuclear issue.
Nor does Moscow's backing off from supporting the Obama administration on the Iranian nuclear issue since mean that it will not be more supportive in the future. Further, if the democratic uprisings are crushed, spread no further or bypass Iran, Moscow may once again become more comfortable with joining Washington in pressing Tehran on the nuclear issue.
Whatever the explanation for Moscow backtracking on its support for sanctions against Iran, one thing is clear. The Kremlin was not persuaded by American and European arguments about the urgency of the Iranian nuclear issue or of any necessity to continue imposing sanctions against Tehran in order to deal with it.
The Obama administration's hopes for a reset have not been realized, nor are they likely to be. While Tehran would like Moscow to be a closer ally than it is willing to be, Iran can nonetheless rely on the likelihood that Russian-American relations will remain adversarial. So long as this continues to hold true, Moscow will not align itself with Washington strongly against Tehran. Yet, even if Russian-American relations deteriorate sharply, Moscow is unlikely to strongly support Iran against the United States.
Nor does Tehran have any illusions about the matter. Papp, Soviet Perceptions of the Developing World in the s: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization 10, no. On January 8,Russia's state contractor Atomstroyexport signed a contract with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization to construct a megawatt light-water reactor at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, scheduled to be operational in Yet, Moscow dragged its feet on this to accommodate US demands for increasing pressure on Tehran, as Anton Khlopkov, a member of the advisory board for the Russian Security Council confirms.
The costly delay also enabled Russia's nuclear industry to stay afloat at a time of scarce funding, and Iran had to foot the bill.
A similar politically motivated delay at Iran's expense took place with respect to the delivery of Russian S air defence missile systems.
Russia and Iran | Middle East Policy Council
Iran, Russia vow to uphold nuclear deal at China summit 2: Moreover, UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme did not include the sales or transfer of conventional defensive weapons at the time.
The air defence systems were ultimately dispatched to Iran inalmost a decade after the purchase had originally been made. A similar pattern of behaviour seems to be emerging again today, as Russia is joining other Western powers to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic over its activities in the Middle East. The relations between the two countries were rapidly deteriorating. He was encouraged by the anti-Russian sentiment in the lost provinces, and inside Iran he was supported by the ulama.
Alexander I died inand, after the attempted coup by the Decembrists, Nicholas I ascended the Russian throne. The Iranians were unilaterally moving the demarcation line farther north in several disputed locations, expelling local inhabitants and replacing them with Iranians, and placing Russian goods and merchants in several ports under arrest.
Their British advisers and topographers were drawing misleading maps which further complicated the situation on the border Kulagina and Dunaeva, pp. The British, whose influence on the shah was strong at that time, were working to provoke an armed conflict and were delivering military equipment to the southern Iranian ports.
The Russian embassy was received coldly and encountered serious difficulties on their way back home. Inhe had sent troops to occupy the north shore of Lake Gokcha on the way to Erevan and in May had occupied Mirak in the Erevan Khanate Kazemzadeh,p. Inhabitants of many khanates claimed by Russia rebelled against their new masters. During the negotiations, in December ofa war between Russia and the Ottoman empire broke out.
The Ottomans offered Iran military help against Russia. Iran had to accept all conditions put forward by Pashkevich Kulagina and Dunaeva, p. It clearly defined on the ground the Russo-Iranian border, which remained unchanged until While only Russia was allowed to have a navy on the Caspian, both countries were to use the Caspian for trade.
An additional commercial treaty allowed Russia to establish consulates in any location in Iran and granted Russian citizens the right to extraterritoriality. Extraordinary taxes and dues levied on Iranians further inflamed anti-Russian sentiment in Iran Kulagina and Dunaeva, p. Relations after the wars.
He also attempted to impose on Iran a war against the Ottoman empire to support the Russians. The rumor spread that they had been forced to renounce Islam. They claimed that it was both disrespectful and ignorant of Griboedov to keep the women in the Russian Mission building. Petersburg bearing gifts to apologize to the emperor. The prince received a cordial welcome in St. Petersburg and was granted forgiveness, since Russia, which was then at war with the Ottomans, was not prepared to start another war with Iran Andreeva,pp.
He was able to form an alliance between Tehran, Kabul, and Kandahar, which Simonich guaranteed in the name of the Russian empire. The British perceived the establishment of an Iranian, and therefore Russian, presence in Afghanistan as a danger to India, therefore they terminated their relations with Iran and threatened war. Britain also initiated an active campaign against Russia, accusing it of plotting to conquer India. The Russian government tried to explain that their actions had been misinterpreted.
Simonich became a scapegoat and was replaced with Alexander Diugamel who was instructed to maintain the status quo in Iran while avoiding a direct confrontation with Britain. In the same year,a Russian Captain Albrant was able to bring back to Russia most of the Russian deserters residing in Iran. Russians had started to escape to Iran at the very beginning of the 19th century, when Russia established its military presence there.
Soldier desertion was a common problem in the Russian army, where serf peasants were drafted for twenty-five years, served under notoriously harsh discipline, and often endured poor food supplies and starvation. In the Caucasus, it was relatively easy to break away, since the border was porous.
The Battalion soldiers had a reputation for discipline and fearlessness and were used by the Iranian government in fighting against Turcomans, Afghans, Kurds, and the Ottomans. Information about their numbers is imprecise: For the Russian authorities, the existence of the Russian Battalion was a source of irritation, political embarrassment, and practical inconvenience, and it served as an attraction and inspiration for new deserters. InLieutenant I.
Noskov brought back Russian prisoners of war. None of the parties was to demand return of deserters and fugitives, while Iran was not to allow Russian deserters serving in the Iranian military to be stationed near the Russian border. From Tabriz, he sent a total of people, including deserters and their families.
From Tehran, he brought back most of the Russian Battalion, men with their families. Samson Khan continued to serve Iranian rulers and even formed a new regiment of deserters. After his death in the s, there was no other Russian military unit inside Iran. In the second half of the 19th century, only individual deserters escaped, but their numbers were low and counted in tens. Russian officials accused local Iranian authorities of welcoming deserters and spared no effort to return them.
After establishing its domination on the western shore of the Caspian, Russia began to look towards its eastern shore. In the ss, Russian expeditions were sent to that area to study its social, economic, and political situation.
Ina Russian consulate was established in Astarabad. In the same year, a Russian fort Novo-Perovskoe Aleksandrovskoe was built on the Mangyshlak peninsula. The international position of Russia started to shift by the middle of the 19th century. By then, Russia was falling behind Western Europe in its technical and military development.
The new power couple: Russia and Iran in the Middle East | European Council on Foreign Relations
Internal weakness resulted in diplomatic failures, which were followed by the humiliating defeat in the Crimean War against the allied forces of Britain, France, Turkey, and Sardinia The Russian role in European politics was reduced, while its politics towards Central Asia and the Far East acquired more significance. It was only there that Russia was still able to compete successfully with the Western European powers.
He offered his assistance again in the next year, according to the Russian minister in Tehran, A. Berger, but the Russian government rejected his offer. During the Russian military actions in Central Asia, however, Iran supported the Russian army with supplies of food and forage Kulagina and Dunaeva, pp. After the fall of Geok Tepe inmost of the Turcoman territories of Transcaspia fell under the Russian rule.
The Atrak and Marv oases were now separating Russian Central Asia from Iranian Khorasan and migrations of Yomud Turcomans between Russian and Iranian territories were causing conflicts between the two countries. Inin addition to the Convention ofa secret agreement was signed, which granted Russia the right to occupy Khorasan in case of a threat to the Transcaspian railroad.
The British were alarmed and tried to interfere to prevent the Russian advance. A Convention of defined the rest of the Russo-Iranian border and developed further regulations of water resources usage Kulagina and Dunaeva, pp. Political and strategic interests were of primary concern to both Britain and Russia, although they also had an interest in Iranian trade and, in the second half of the 19th century, on concessions and loans.
Britain was mainly concerned with preserving the formal independence and integrity of Iran in order to defend India. Russia, after depriving Iran of its Caucasian and Transcaspian territories, had further expansionist designs on northern and northeastern Iran, especially on Khorasan. Both imperial powers were striving to exercise as much influence on the Qajar rulers as possible in order to dominate Iran and to repel their rivals there.
The Qajar monarchs were unable to resist European pressure.
Will Russia let Iran down to win the US over?
Formally, Iran never became a colony, mainly because of the rivalry between Russia and Britain; the balance of power between Russia and Britain was of particular importance in preserving the integrity of Iran. The tug-of-war between Russia and Britain for concessions led to the increasing economic encroachment of the two empires on Iran, hampering a balanced development of its economy.
One striking example was the blocking of railroad construction in Iran. Starting in the s, both Britain and Russia each pressured Iranian monarchs to grant it a railroad concession and to deny one to the other power.
Russian opposition, augmented by British government indifference, led to the cancellation of a broad concession for industrial development granted to a British subject, Baron Julius de Reuter, in the early s Algar, pp. Later, similar Russian projects were effectively blocked by their rivals. A strong protest movement by Iranian merchants and ulama supported by the Russians forced the shah to cancel the concession.
To compensate the company, Iran had to pay a large sum of money, which the shah borrowed first from the British and later from the Russians. Indebtedness to the European powers was becoming an additional tool of Western domination Kazemzadeh,pp. At the same time, it was a tool of Russian influence. However, lack of reliable roads and transportation development were serious impediments for trade.