Iran, Russia axis of independence

TEHRAN, Dec. 11 (MNA) – While Iran and Russia have a long history of coop. in various fields, the West has focused on the military dimension of Iran-Russia coop. in what appears to be a Western sense of emergency as to the change in the world order.

Over the last few days, the United States and some of its allies have ramped up their rhetoric regarding the alleged Iranian-Russia cooperation in the field of weaponry. 

Citing senior Biden administration officials, NBC News alleged Friday that Russia is now providing an "unprecedented level" of military and technical support to Iran in exchange for Tehran supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine.

“As part of the enhanced partnership, Russia may be providing Iran with advanced military equipment and components, including helicopters and air defense systems. In the spring, Iranian pilots trained in Russia to fly the Sukhoi Su-35, a Russian fighter jet, which the officials say indicates Iran ‘may begin receiving the aircraft within the next year,’” NBC News said.

While Iran and Russia have not confirmed US allegations yet, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby openly accused Iran and Russia of deepening their military cooperation. Citing alleged intelligence assessments, Kirby accused Russia of moving to provide advanced military assistance to Iran, including air defense systems, helicopters, and fighter jets, as part of deepening cooperation between the two nations. 
He said Russia was offering Iran "an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership."

Kirby said Russia and Iran were considering standing up a drone assembly line in Russia for the Ukraine conflict, while Russia was training Iranian pilots on the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter and Iran could receive deliveries of the plane within the year, according to a CBS News report. 

The UK leveled similar accusations. 

UK Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward alleged that Russia is attempting to obtain more weapons from Iran, including hundreds of ballistic missiles, and offering Tehran an unprecedented level of military and technical support in return.

“Russia is now attempting to obtain more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles,” said Woodward, adding, “In return, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support. We're concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, which will allow Iran to strengthen their weapons capability.”

These allegations come after France, Germany, and the UK sent letters to the UN Security Council claiming that Iran’s alleged provision of drones to Russia for use in Ukraine constitutes a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran rejected the European letters. Iranian Ambassador to the UN Amir Saeid Iravani sent two letters to the President of the Security Council and UN Secretary-General saying that the claims of the UK, France, and Germany were false. France and Germany had jointly sent their letter while the UK sent a separate one. But both letters were similar in terms of content. 

In one of the letters, Iravani said France and Germany “have once again strived desperately in a concerted attempt with the representative of the United Kingdom (S/2022/908) to level false and repeated claims against Iran about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.”

He added, “The unfounded claims in the letters are identical and clearly consistent with previous ones (S/2022/908, S/2022/771, S/2022/781, S/2022/782), revealing that the authors of the aforementioned letters have made every deceptive and political effort, including disseminating undocumented and inaccurate information while also resorting to lies as well as completely flawed, arbitrary and misleading interpretations of Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) and its Annex B, to establish an entirely false and unrelated linkage between that resolution and the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles in Ukraine's ongoing conflict. This is all done in order to legitimize their unfounded claims against my Country and further their political agendas.”

The Western allegations against Iran have prompted pundits to ask why the West is so obsessed with Iran-Russia cooperation. Some observers believe that the reason for this obsession is the deep concern that Iran and Russia, together with China, are moving toward an alliance capable of changing the Western-dominated world order. 

Iran and Russia are both under massive Western sanctions for various reasons but they have complementary capabilities that, if combined with China, can shift the focus of global strength to Asia. 

Iran has already expressed its willingness to strengthen its relations with China and Russia. With respect to China, Tehran signed a 25-year partnership plan with Beijing that is expected to move relations between the two sides to a new, strategic level. 

And Iran is also working with Russia on a similar plan. Tehran and Moscow intend to deepen their cooperation in many areas.

By: Mehran Shamsuddin

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 194748

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