Russia's President Vladimir Putin made a working visit to Iran on July 19, 2022 where he met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi. The purpose of the visit according to the official Kremlin website was to " attend a trilateral meeting between the leaders of the guarantor states of the Astana process to facilitate settlement in Syria." Western sources tied the visit to Russia's interest in obtaining Iranian UAVs for use in Ukraine.
In a revealing article Moskovskiy Komsomolets' "observer" Mikhail Rostovsky urges his readers to view Iran as a model for where Russia is heading. Iran under the Shah was a Western lackey in the same way that Russia was in the Yeltsin era. Since it launched its special operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russia has reached the same position of complete break with the West as Iran achieved in 1979. Despite brutal and continuous American economic pressure on Iran, the Islamic Republic weathered the pressures, was not driven back to the stone age, and frequently humiliated the United States. Therefore, Russia would profit from a detailed study of Iran's political, economic and social experience. It is worth mentioning that Rostovsky, while a Putin supporter would previously advise the regime to act less brutally towards the opposition, but since the invasion he has accepted the new rules of the game to the point that he is willing to exalt Russia's new "colleagues" and Russia's "closest ally".
Rostovsky's article follows below:
Vladimir Putin meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Source: Ria.ru)
"Vladimir Putin visited Iran, and the relevance of such news transcends by far the fact that in recent months, for obvious reasons, the master of the Kremlin has very rarely traveled outside of Russia. Iran now is not just the closest ally, an ideological ally and political partner of the Kremlin. Today's Iran also provides a unique of mirror of Russia's tomorrow, as drawing upon that country's we can understand and calculate what awaits us.
"Of course, any political analogies are conditional, and any political mirrors have a certain fraction of 'curvature'. Moscow's new (or not entirely new) 'privileged partner' is a state with nearly the world's most unique political system.
"Take for example, the following passage from the Iranian Constitution: 'The Islamic Republic is a system of government based on faith in ... Judgment Day and its constructive role in human betterment on the path to God.'
"The strengthening of the religious factor's role is now a pronounced trend in Russian politics. But it seems that our country will not reach the point of introducing similar changes to the Basic Law. However, that is not what matters now. Now the following is important: that [same] decisive political turn that Russia made in 2022 [with the invasion of Ukraine] took place in Iran 42 years ago.
"Since the CIA-sponsored coup d'état in Tehran in 1952 to the Shah's overthrow in 1979, Iran had, to use Russian political jargon, the 'long 1990s': a period during which the country played the role of a junior political partner of the United States.
"But that period of drift from allied relations with the West to absolute antagonism towards the same West, which in Russia took at least 15 years - from Putin's Munich speech in 2007 to the start of the special operation in Ukraine in 2022 – took place in Iran only within a space of a few months or even weeks. Since 1979, the country Putin has now visited has officially been the most anti-American state on the planet.
"This thesis of mine may seem somewhat 'utilitarian'. Aren't there enough other countries in the world whose authorities conduct an anti-American policy and please the population with anti-American political rhetoric? The answer is obvious: a lot (although not as much as Moscow would like). But even against a general background of the unofficial 'world anti-American front', Iran is something completely exceptional.
"Iran is the country that made the American political elite forget their cherished nothing personal principle. Iran has made the US leaders feel a deep sense of humiliation. Iran de facto knocked off one American president (Jimmy Carter lost the election in 1981 as a result of the failure of his policy towards the new authorities of Tehran) and almost brought down another (during his second term, Ronald Reagan miraculously avoided impeachment due to the ' Iran-Contra' scandal).
"Too much history? Please, here is modernity for you. Breaking news from the news feed: 'The West is ready to crack down on countries that are abusing or disrupting the global economic order. This was stated by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during her visit to South Korea.
"Famous last words, but hard to believe - or at least partially unbelievable. The West has been taking tough, exceptionally tough, and most severe measures against Iran since 1979. So what?
"Of course, I would not dare to say nothing whatsoever. Having visited Iran four years ago, I personally saw all the hardships of life under a permanent economic blockade by the United States. But I also saw something else - a country whose economy was not driven back into the 'Stone Age', but continues to function more or less successfully at the modern level. In conditions when Russia is just getting used to the total economic blockade by the West, this fact can serve as a very important intellectual 'reference point'.
"In our recent past, the following anecdote was popular: an optimist in Russia learns English, a pessimist learns Chinese, and a realist learns a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Judge for yourself how exactly in our current realities it is worth 'updating' this joke. But here is what must necessarily be part of such an 'update': a realist in our country is simply obliged to made a detailed study of the Iranian political, economic and social experience.
"Russia and Iran are very different powers in terms of their size and weight. However, since February 24 of this year, we are 'colleagues'.
"The United States will 'hammer' Moscow with no less tenacity than they currently 'hammer' Iran already under its eighth president (since 1979). It's even a pity that Vladimir Putin decided to cut his Iranian visit so short. It is clear that under the conditions of conducting a special operation, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief cannot abandon his country for too long. But visiting Iran is definitely not just a 'diplomatic courtesy visit'"
Mikhail Rostovsky (Source: Russian.rt.com)