Russia and Iran: An Alliance of the Weak

by Navid  Felker

The United States is reconsidering its foreign policy towards Iran. It is well overdue. Former President Barack Obama’s policy of appeasement did not work. In fact, it worsened the Iranian regime’s belligerence because it knew it could get away with all sorts and the United States would not so much as dare to comment.

In recent days, Russia has been accused of shielding the Islamic Republic with regards to the 2015 nuclear agreement. The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog that reports to the United Nations, has said that the agency is unable to verify one of the clauses of the nuclear deal. Russia basically said that the IAEA should stop trying to verify that section of the deal.

Some believe that the United States must just accept that the Iran-Russia relationship is too strong to challenge, and any attempt to do so will likely provoke a conflict. One that the United States will probably lose.

However, others argue that the Iran-Russia relationship is a partnership of the weak. Iran’s economy is currently very weak and it cannot meet the needs of the religious ruling regime and the people. Also, the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is crippling the economy. There are many other factors that play against it too, such as the numerous organisations that are set up as “charitable” but are basically just organisations run by the state. Also, the trust controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) – is bleeding the country dry.

The corruption in Iran is turning the country’s economy into a shambles. If it was not for the sanctions relief that was given once the nuclear deal was signed, the country’s economic situation would have plummeted to the lowest ever level.

In fact, the sanctions relief that was granted should have been used to improve the social conditions of the country which would have taken millions of people away from under the poverty line. But no, the Iranian regime decided to plunder the billions and billions of dollars on the export of terrorism, the IRGC, and many other unworthy causes.

Russia’s economy is no better. In fact, you could say it is worse. The country is relying on arms exports and hydrocarbon for most of its revenue following the crisis it faced when oil prices lowered and international sanctions were put in place. The oil prices are causing long-lasting damage and will ensure the economy suffers even if international sanctions were to be cancelled.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, is becoming more autocratic and the economic reformers there are being pushed away. So the prospect of the Russian economy getting better is fading rapidly.

Aggression from Iran and Russia, we can now see, is not coming from a place of strength. They are lashing out because they are in weak positions. The United States’ economy is in a much more stable place than those of Russia and Iran, and when you consider the wealth of US allies, it just makes the Russo-Iranian coalition look even more pathetic.

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