Iran Amid Ukraine and Vienna

Hakkı Uygur President

The evaluation made by the Supreme Leader Khamenei without using “Russia” and “invasion” indicates Iran’s sidedness in the crisis that does not concern itself directly.

Russia to initiate a comprehensive invasion on February 24 by overwhelming observers, as the ongoing crisis shaped by the separatist movements on Donbas turned into a war, constituted the primal focus of the global agenda. The revoked questions on how long the war will last and what the crisis will evolve into remained unsettled, yet the cumulated events in each aspect must be taken as a milestone. The augmentation of the Ukrainian national identity and their patriotism ever than before, the steep rise in the energy prices, and the uptick in the fragility of the food security, identified as the Western Alliance, which includes eastern countries like Japan and South Korea to enter a stiff recovery process, the strip-downed policies comprised since the WW2 of nations like Germany and Switzerland, and to state declarations appropriately to the new era, the Atlantic Alliance to leave its procrastination with leveraging the Russian aggression to return to the international arena firmly generate the recent developments.

The Russian Impact in Iran

Tehran, with the genial relationships advanced with Russia since the 1979 Revolution, and particularly with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the cordial affairs extended to allowing Russian fighter aircraft in the military base, despite the negative rhetoric spark with the Arab Spring’s Syria expansion, is amongst the countries caught short in the crisis. Iran indexed in the imminent nuclear agreement in Vienna, baffled with the new condition of Russia received through the press. Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, declared that the trade between Iran and Russia must be consolidated within the Nuclear Deal to not be interrupted.

The spokesperson on the declaration revoked the reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Russian demands must be conveyed through official sources; along with that, Amir-Abdollahian stressed the prevention of the agreement through any external factor will not be tolerated. The other day, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said, “Some state’s negative declarations can be understood. They attempt to secure their national interests” by steering to reveal the intimacy of the security bureaucracy with Russia. France sought the Russian behavior as an attempt to hostage the nuclear talks as the talks were frozen, and the parties returned to their capitals to consult further.

The evaluation made by the Supreme Leader Khamenei without using “Russia” and “invasion” indicates Iran’s sidedness in the crisis that does not concern itself directly. The Russian impact on the critical institutions of the state, the non-comprehensive expectation within the Vienna talks in the long term, and the need for Russian support in the looming potential crisis derived from Tehran’s policy.

"Look to the East" Is Prior

Why Tehran looms to Moscow and the laid reasons behind it must be answered. The Raisi government, contrary to the former representatives of the elected flank, prioritizes the “Look to the East” policy. The representative of this ponent approach within the state’s various ranks positioned as unchallenged in the state offices after the elections. According to this approach, a long-termed and profound agreement is not possible, and the Obama Era signed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the most apparent evidence of it.

Corresponding to those milieus, the current conjuncture and the opportunity within the energy markets can lead to a significant financial advantage, yet the close affair with tailspin Russia is way more beneficial. With the support of the overlook of the Biden administration, the non-official selling’s of the Iranian oil reached an immense extent. The received revenues ease the government overwhelmed in the last few years. Consequently, ratifying the Nuclear Deal by fronting Russia does not stand as a priority for Iran. In this frame, the Raisi administration did not imitate the miscalculation of Rouhani fell into objects to resolute an agreement with the West despite the East. To reckon, Rouhani’s invitation to the Western firms into massive projects after 2015 dated JCPOA resulted in a vast response from Russia and China.

Why Does Erbil Assault Matters?

The last missile attack made directly through Iran bears certain similarities and differences with the assaults directed to Saudi Arabia and UAE. The weapons used by Iran to make an extreme statement or used in a shored sphere are being a remarkable military apparatus that constitute the parallel point. The varying respect is to launch a ballistic missile thoroughly from Iran to a neighbor state, for the first time after the Ayn al-Assad attack to avenge the assassination of Qasim Soleimani. Hence, the Iranian government’s appeal to convey a different message remains clear, and it can be thought that the targeted region poses a legitimate threat to Iranian national security. The Iranian officials allege the drone attack on a base in Kermanshah organized by the KRG. Therefore, the attack comprises the Iranian discourse as “they will answer each assault organized by any state”.

Tehran could be projected its concern on the government-forming efforts and the cooperation conducted with the neighboring states by that significant attack. The last assault overlaps with the analysis of the possible changes in the regional balances after the Vienna talks. Consequently, with the new nuclear agreement, Tehran will reconcile with the global powers on a minimum level through energy sources and will maintain its aggressive policies, especially the military activities focused on Yemen will be carried out both in the Gulf and the Mediterranean progressively. The last attack affiliated with Türkiye in the Iranian press implies the awareness of Tehran on Ankara as a balancer actor in the new era.

Eventually, various experts’ emphasis on Iranian gas as the alternative to the Russian sources is not realistic for the listed political reasons. The ties between Iran and Russia prevent Tehran from stepping forward to confronting Moscow. In addition, it remains well known that Iran needs ten billion of infrastructure investments and technology transfer to enhance its insufficient gas production. As the administration in Iran is current, it is unlikely for western energy firms to make long-termed investments. Hence Iran will prioritize its ideological interests -as it did in the last 42 years- to the economic interests and prevent taking comprehensive steps to fill the gap in the energy markets left by Russia.

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