There are reports today that 4 senior military and intelligence leaders in Syria have defected to Iran on route to Russia. Apparently they were folks deep inside Assad's circle, and maybe direct agents for Russia inside Syria. Why these defectors could not have flown directly to Moscow is anyone's guess? But for Iran to become a transit route to Russia is a new event - worthy of analysis.
Then to throw more fuel on the fire, today the Chairman of Russia National Security Council (Putin's right hand man) made a special trip to Iran for private meetings with senior leaders in Iran. He might have been on a special mission for the West (notably Britain, Russia's secret partner) to deliver some special message about Iran's nuclear program ...but the fact that a Russian was chosen to deliver the message reinforces the fact that Iran and Russia now have a very special relationship.
With Syria dropping out of Russia and Iran's sphere of influence, both countries it seems are trying to cement a new alliance, a new friendship to replace Syria's role in executing Russian strategies in the middle east. A new Russian alliance with Iran would have the added benefit for Russia that they could play out their strategies through Iranian surrogates like Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Shiites in Iraq. In some ways, and alliance with Iran is somewhat superior for the Russians than an alliance with Syria. Iran too, can establish a new supply source in an increasingly 'sanctioned' trading environment with the West. Iran already has close defense ties with both Russia and China as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation alliance.
As Iranians, we have to be very suspicious of any Russian overtures. The Russians after all have done much more damage to Iran over the centuries - than any one else (that including the Brits and Americans). And that is really saying something. Yes, they must be very bad. Many on this site decry Western interference in Iran, but no one should forget that in fact the Russians sold far more weapons to Saddam Hussein than the West every did...during the Iran-Iraq war. No one should forget Russian invasions of Northern Iran leading to the loss of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tuurkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikestan (all part of Iran not so long ago). Iranians have been destroyed by Russian armies, and Russian scheming with Britain in what was once called the "Great Game".
But, there is one other consequence of Iran's special relationship with Russia, and that is, that the West will not under any circumstances allow Iran to fall into the Russian sphere...if it has not already done so. I mean there will be war ...the Americans will invade if Iran's leadership has twilted towards Russia. It is absolutely unacceptable. There is simply too much at stake strategically for the West for Iran to drop (as kruschev put it) like a rotten apple into Russia's hands.
Stay tuned, but these turn of events is very serious and could have devastating consequences for Iran and Iranians.
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