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Babak Dehghanpisheh Country Profiles
Europe World Press Review correspondent
Middle East Tehran, Iran Iran, Russia

World Blogs New! The image of the Russian bear stalking Iran’s northern border
was dramatically changed in late March as Moscow agreed to
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the sale of a “defensive” missile system to Tehran, promising up
World Newspapers to $7 billion-worth of defense transactions to follow.
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“Iran has a right to defend itself,” Russian President Vladimir
Putin was quoted as saying in the centrist Iran Times (March
Middle East 16). “Our regional and international well-being is largely
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“The first thing that we must remember is that Iran is a


sovereign nation that is not under any international embargo, as
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Iraq is,” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov in an
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interview with Agence France-Presse (March 28). “And no one
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in their right mind would think of a missile-defense system as a
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The presence of volatile regional players such as Afghanistan


and Iraq, coupled with uncertainty about U.S. foreign-policy Web-Exclusive Alert
priorities, has turned once-wary neighbors into partners.
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“Our region is in need of peace and stability more than at any newsletter and our
indispensable World
other time in history,” Iranian President Muhammad Khatami was
Headlines.
quoted as saying in the Iran Times (March 16). “And to achieve
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peace, we need to look away from external powers URL:that could
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Russia got the diplomatic ball rolling in November by expressing
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ADVERTISEMENTS Iranian newspaper columnists, regardless of their political


phone cards leanings, expressed support for the ties. The state-owned Iran
(March 12) wrote, “Khatami’s unique visit to Russia, which may
develop into more extensive ties, has shown that, despite the
protests of the United States, stronger relations between
Tehran and Moscow are mutually beneficial.” Tehran’s reformist
Aftab-e-Yazd (March 13) wrote, “The Putin government has
approached relations with Iran, especially with regard to
sensitive issues such as nuclear technology, in a very
progressive manner. There is no doubt that the countries have
common strategic interests.”

One issue that is of vital importance to both countries is access


to the oil-rich Caspian Sea. “Russia has strived to become a
first-degree power in the region by tying its fortunes to the oil
and gas sector,” wrote Aftab-e-Yazd (March 14). “[It hopes] to
keep Russian domestic interests on the international agenda by
having some measure of influence on gas and oil consumers in
the West.”

Iran, for its part, has realized that it could gain greater shares
in the Caspian oilfields by cooperating with Russia. Toward this
end, the Iranian government has steered away from
inflammatory issues such as Russia’s wars against Muslims in
Chechnya.
Anton Caragea, May 11, 2009

United States-Lebanon Relations Face a Paradigm Shift


Mona Yacoubian, Common Ground News, February 6, 2009

US-Muslim relations at stake in US election?


Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, October 20, 2008

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