Among other distinguished guests who arrived today at the recently-opened summit of gas-exporting countries in Moscow, was the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose term is coming to an end. According to the director of the Center for Public Policy Research, the renowned political scientist Vladimir Yevseyev, this last visit of Ahmadinejad to Russia in his presidential office will be of a conciliatory nature, in order to create maximally favorable conditions for the newly-elected president, Hassan Rouhani.
"Apparently, he will try to level the negative relations that he had with the Russian leadership. Because some of his actions have caused very serious irritation and sometimes misunderstandings. So for now it would be highly desirable to try smoothing it. Previously it was suggested that there will be a proposed interchange of C-300s. In particular, possible deliveries of S-300 production to Iran by the company "Antey" was discussed, which is not anti-aircraft but rather missile defense. It has slightly different markings, and thus technically does not fall under the decree of Dmitry Medvedev, who banned the delivery of S-300 systems to Iran. Anyway, if it takes place it will be a very big breakthrough in the development of Russian-Iranian relations," the expert says.
Yevseyev adds that the negative relations are bilateral, just like the relations in the construction and energy sector. "It was a heavy blow for the Russian leadership that, after agreeing to work in Angarsk, Iran did not work there. And this question must also be closed in some way. I think the question of the development of cooperation in the nuclear field will also be discussed. And I hope there will be discussion of Russia's construction of another energy unit on one of the empty sites in Bushehr. I think this is quite realistic. The question is whether Iran is willing to develop cooperation with Russia this year, the political scientist explains.
Summing up the thrust of Ahmadinejad's visit to Moscow, Yevseyev says that, in any case, the most important thing now is to "try to create a foundation for the next president to begin real development of the partnership with Russia, which, I believe, is still cautious."
Discussion of the Syrian issue is also inevitable, because it is one of the few ties uniting Russia and Iran. "Although both countries have varying support for Syria, in fact, Russia and Iran are playing together. Russia has repeatedly insisted on the participation of Iran in the Geneva -2 conference. Russia and Iran are complementary in Syria, because there are areas in which Russia does not work, like economic cooperation. Recall that Iran has provided Syria with two loans amounting to $4 billion. At the same time, Russia is working in the UN Security Council. This is very important, it helps to ensure that Bashar al-Assad remains in power and creates certain conditions for sustainability," the expert says.
Afghanistan will also be discussed, in light of the reduction in the U.S. presence in the troubled country. "For Iran, Afghanistan is an extremely important direction for activity. I think that the issues of cooperation in this area will be discussed, especially regarding shutting down drug trafficking," the analyst suggests.