West Seeking to Undermine Iran, Russia’s Sovereignty: Russian Analyst

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Russian geopolitical analyst and author said the west is trying to undermine Iran and Russia’s sovereignty through economic and political pressure, calling on Tehran and Moscow to remain united in the face of western plots.

“The West is interested to undermine the sovereignty of the IRI through a chain of events and economic/political/diplomatic pressure. The same, they do against Russia. So it is also another reason why we must be united in one front,” Leonid Savin told the Tasnim News Agency.

Savin is the head of the Administration of the International Social Movement “Eurasian Movement”. He is also the editor-in-chief of “Geopolitika” magazine as well as Geopolitica.ru. Furthermore, Savin, the author of several books on geopolitics, is the director of the social-political research programs in Russia’s Institute of Economics and Legislation.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: Senior Iranian official Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati has conveyed a message from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow. Following the meeting, Dr. Velayati described his discussions with the Russian president as “highly constructive, transparent and friendly.” Iran’s Leadership has long viewed relations with Moscow as “strategic,” he said.What does “strategic cooperation” with Russia mean?

Savin: Strategic issues are not obvious, as it may seem. For example, Russia has many different strategies that were released in form of doctrinal documents. However, they are only on paper and the most important thing is their practical realization. In the strategy of national security released after 2008, we can read that Russia can use military power to protect Russian citizens abroad, but this option was never used.

Theoretically, there are frames for practical implementation in Syria and Ukraine, but in reality military works in another way.

But Iran and the region of Western Asia also marked in a few latest doctrinal papers of the Russian Federation. Russia pays a lot of attention to this area, especially for security. And it is one of the reasons for Russian military presence in Syria. Cooperation in Oil/gas sector, but also nuclear energy is also an important line for cooperation with Iran. And of course, attempts to build a multipolar world order without the hegemony of the US is one of the geopolitical goals of Russia that was also confirmed in strategic papers and personally by statements of Russian officials.

In this context, Russian-Iranian cooperation is very important. Any initiatives in trade, business, culture, and tourism that will bring our countries closer to each other more will be appreciated.

Tasnim: Velayati also quoted Putin as hailing the oil cooperation between Iran and Russia, saying Russia has announced readiness to make investment as high as $50 billion in Iran’s oil and gas industry, and that Russian firms could replace the western companies that have left Iran. Do you believe that it is time that Russia, Iran and China should form a separate economic front against US hegemony?

Savin: Yes, it is possible and it is an imperative. This triangle also can form a new Eurasian orbit and add to it more actors who have suffered from Western influence and are looking for an alternative. For example, Turkey and Pakistan. We see that the US is interested to impose more sanctions against Iran and it has started many anti-Iranian projects in the EU too. The West is interested to undermine the sovereignty of the IRI through a chain of events and economic/political/diplomatic pressure. The same, they do against Russia. So it is also another reason why we must be united in one front.

Tasnim: As you know, this year’s NATO meeting comes ahead of Trump’s direct meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday. What do you think about this meeting?

Savin: The NATO military alliance is slowly nearing its end and it needs fresh blood (new members) as well as the justification of its own existence. Now we can see more bureaucracy and budget (military companies) interests there that focus on Euro-Atlantic security. But the Helsinki meeting has nothing to do with the NATO summit. Firstly, Russia has enough strong army and its logistics and infrastructure are far better than the NATO. Secondly, Putin and Trump will discuss bilateral relations and Syria. What I can say from previous observation is that Donald Trump is unpredictable. He can tell and propose some good ideas, but then change his mind. So let see what people around him would say. I think it is the reason Trump finally supported NATO - Mattis, Bolton and other high ranked decision makers still follow old clichés. And unfortunately, there are many Russophobes and many Iranophobes.

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