Putin’s Iran Visit Shows He Still Has Friends—and Options

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a photo prior to their talks in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022 (Sputnik photo by Sergei Savostyanov, Sputnik).
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a photo prior to their talks in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022 (Sputnik photo by Sergei Savostyanov, Sputnik).
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Three days after U.S. President Joe Biden returned to Washington from a controversial visit to Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Tehran with a complex set of goals of his own. Much like Biden, who aimed to strengthen Washington’s ties in the region, Putin sought to bolster Russia’s relations in the Middle East. The meeting in Iran showcased the awkward relationship between these two dictatorial regimes and their oil-rich nations, both of which have been subjected to Western economic sanctions. By embracing one another, Putin and Iran’s supreme leader aimed to show that they are not pariahs.

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