13:52 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Iran Won’t Double-Cross Russia Once Sanctions Lifted

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    Even when anti-Iranian sanctions are lifted, Tehran will continue to develop its economic and strategic cooperation with Moscow, geopolitical analyst William Engdhal said.

    After a final agreement on the Iranian nuclear was struck and the US pledged to lift its anti-Iranian sanctions within several months, there have been numerous assumptions that Iran will abandon its Russia-friendly policy.

    However, all those assumptions are groundless and there is no reasonable basis to say that Iran would double-cross the great Russian bear, F. William Engdhal, prominent lecturer and geopolitical author, wrote in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

    It is hardly possible that Iran will undermine Russia’s economic stability with major oil and gas export deals, the expert believes.

    He suggests taking a look at what the consequences would be for Iran to directly undercut Russia’s oil and gas exports with its own oil and gas. 

    "First of all it would deliver Tehran to the mercy of the same West that imposed the sanctions," Engdhal explained.

    Second, as soon as the sanctions are lifted Saudi Arabia and other countries that fulfilled the Iran oil export vacuum must expect to lose the share they gained when Iran was banned from selling oil. However, recently Russia and Saudi Arabia reached a number of major agreements in the nuclear energy and defense fields. Thus, Russian leader Vladimir Putin could play a mediating role in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran to help avert a conflict over the oil market share.

    "Iran has nothing to gain by reckless actions and creating new enemies when its new American ‘friend’ is hardly trustworthy," the analyst said.

    He thinks that Moscow and Tehran would be able to reach an agreement on oil and gas market shares acceptable for both countries.

    "The other moderating factor is major new arms agreements and negotiations for delivery of past purchases once the sanctions are lifted. Those deals from Tehran are with Moscow so far and visibly not NATO countries of the West," he added.

    Moreover, Iran is currently interested in the purchase of advanced weapons and military hardware which could be delivered without any preconditions or concessions, Engdhal.

    This is why Iran intends to buy Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems as well as Russian jet fighters. The country also plans to use Russian-produced rocket carriers to launch its satellites into orbit.

    In view of all this, Tehran is expected to deepen its strategic ties with Moscow, not to deliberately make an economic enemy, Engdhal continued.

    Another major reason that keeps Iran close to Eurasia and not NATO is China’s Silk Road infrastructure project, according to the analyst.

    "For China, Iran’s geographical location and its topography make it a strategic partner for developing the network of overland infrastructure corridors crisscrossing Eurasia independent of a potential confrontation with the US Naval presence," he said.

    According to Iranian Deputy Economy Minister Massoud Karbasian, once the Silk Road is completed Iran will become a transit route for over 12 million tons of goods a year.

    In addition, once the sanctions are lifted Iran has the right to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Currently, Tehran has Observing Status, but a decision on its admission to the SCO may be approved during next year’s annual meeting.

    "For Iran, fully cooperating with this development, led by China and Russia, is far more promising than becoming a geopolitical pawn of Washington in economic or any other wars against China and Russia," the author concluded.


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    Oil, NATO, military, energy, cooperation, sanctions, Silk Road, Iran, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia
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