I ran across this development while researching another article on Iran’s sanctions against 15 American Companies. It appears that Iran & Russia are strengthening ties in their relations with each other.
As part of a high-level Iranian delegation, Rouhani will leave Tehran for Moscow on Monday (March 27, 2017). He will hold talks with Putin and other senior officials of the country. Several areas of interest between Russian and Iranian officials are on the table to be discussed. These include bolstering cooperation in the legal and judicial sectors, roads and urban development, technology and communications, energy and sports.
In order to lay the groundwork for these agreements, Iran has also been involved in talks with Azerbaijan.Topics discussed included drug smuggling, cyber crimes and Takfiri terrorism (i.e. terrorism inspired by Islamic extremism). Both of them are predominately Shia Muslim. Azerbaijan however, is secular with religion having little influence in the daily lives of its citizens when compared with its southern neighbor.
The key to strengthening ties between the two countries appears to be a transportation corridor. This corridor would link Iran with Russia via Azerbaijan.
Russia has also been active in improving relations with both Azerbaijan. Its approach however, appears to be more conservative than Iran. At the same time it is improving relations with Azerbaijan. It is upgrading its military agreement with Armenia. Azerbaijan and Armenia have been historic rivals due to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and ideological differences in religion.
How would this play out with President Trump and his sanctions is open to interpretation but it appears that Putin is encouraging a policy independent of the west. Despite his admiration for Putin, it does not appear likely that US-Russia relations will be as close as Trump hopes for.
Iran and Azerbaijan are members of the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) while Russia and Armenia are members of the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union). Previously published on http://www.onionfar.ms/