Russia, Iran Need Each Other, Despite Disagreements
Trump would be hard-pressed to deliver a deal that could persuade Moscow to upend its deepening ties with IranBEIRUT—Iran and Russia aren’t often on the same page in the Middle East. But if President Donald Trump’s administration attempts to drive a wedge between the two, there is precious little incentive it can offer Moscow to abandon its crucial partner.
Confronting Iran while also improving relations with Russia and turning it into an ally against “radical Islam” have emerged as two early foreign-policy priorities for the new U.S. administration.
Those goals are difficult to reconcile for the simple reason that Russia and Iran increasingly need each other. Over the past year and a half, Moscow and Tehran have put their strategic differences aside as they took advantage of the shrinking American influence in the Middle East.
Their joint effort reversed the tide of the Syrian conflict, shoring up President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and gave Moscow new sway across the region, from Libya to Iraq.