Fuelling ties: Rouhani in Moscow

Fuelling ties: Rouhani in Moscow

President Hassan Rouhani will fly to Russia on Monday to shore up relations with Iran’s most important external partner. Strong

Putin-Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani will fly to Russia on Monday to shore up relations with Iran’s most important external partner.

Strong cooperation between Russia and Iran – particularly in support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad – has reshaped the strategic dynamic in the Middle East in recent years. The relationship has served both parties well.

For Moscow, forging a regional partnership with Tehran has been a crucial step in regaining a foothold in the Middle East.

For Iran, exchanges with Russia’s world-class military, sophisticated intelligence networks and high-tech energy industry have been invaluable.

Officials suggest trade and investment will top the agenda when Mr Rouhani meets Vladimir Putin on Monday, their ninth such interaction in four years. The Iranian leader will be flanked by an array of business leaders who will be seeking much-needed investment from Russian state-owned hydrocarbon giant Gazprom. Iran holds huge natural gas reserves – second only to Russia – but lacks the technology and know-how to leverage its natural endowment to its full capacity. With “more than ten documents” to be inked on the trip according to a senior Iranian official, this could be about to change.

Dig deeper: The future of Russia-Iran relations