Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran on Tuesday and met with Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan.
Putin’s visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia sends a strong message to the West about Moscow’s plans to forge closer strategic ties with these countries.
Khamenei said Putin had ensured Russia “maintained its independence” from the United States and that countries should start using their own national currencies when trading goods.
Khamenei said Moscow had little alternative to taking the initiative in Ukraine, and Putin’s trip to Tehran showed how isolated Russia had become.
Iran is keen to strengthen strategic relations with Russia against an emerging, U.S.-backed Gulf Arab-Israeli bloc, but Russia’s increased tilt towards Beijing has significantly reduced Iranian crude exports to China.
In May, Reuters reported that Iran‘s crude exports to China had fallen sharply as Beijing favored heavily discounted Russian barrels, leaving almost 40 million barrels of Iranian oil stored on tankers at sea in Asia and seeking buyers.
Syria was also a severe point of the meeting and perhaps a chief reason for discussing the three leaders.
The Iranian Supreme Leader told Turkish President Erdogan that any military attack in northern Syria would harm Turkey, Syria, and the entire region and benefit terrorists.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey are the strongest backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports anti-Assad insurgents. The three presidents agreed to continue consultation on Syria and were committed to maintaining efforts to “normalize” the situation after a decade of conflict.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Putin forges ties with Iran’s supreme leader in Tehran talks Reuters
- On trip to Iran, Vladimir Putin wants to show the world “he still has some friends”: foreign poli… CBS News
- Putin arrives in Iran for first trip outside former Soviet Union since his invasion of Ukraine CNN
- Iran’s Khamenei seeks long-term Moscow, Tehran cooperation Reuters.com
- Putin, in Tehran, gets strong support from Iran over Ukraine The Associated Press