Global Insights: Russia Warily Embraces Iran’s Rouhani

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Many countries have welcomed the election of Iran’s newly inaugurated president, Hasan Rouhani, while remaining cautious about the prospects for major shifts in Iranian policy as a result of his victory. But few countries have responded as erratically as Russia. Recent weeks have seen media reports that President Vladimir Putin would visit Tehran and that Moscow would sell Iran advanced weaponry—only to be retracted days later. Russia’s interests regarding Iran are complex and often conflicting, explaining Russian policymakers’ seemingly erratic behavior. Moscow has six core goals regarding Iran: supporting nonproliferation, preventing war or regime change, maintaining regional security, minimizing sanctions, […]

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