How Russia is deepening military ties with Iran to counter the US
“This is the first memorandum of understanding of this kind, and it may be considered a turning point in the relations of Tehran in Moscow along the defense trajectory,” Khanzadi said.
He added, “A joint Russian-Iranian exercise is expected to be held shortly in the Indian Ocean. The exercise may also be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including in the Strait of Hormuz.”
Why it matters: The memorandum is not legally binding and does not burden either party with additional “allied commitments.” However, it is important in at least two ways.
The first is timing. Coming amid numerous reports of growing tensions between Russian and pro-Iranian forces in Syria, the memorandum sends an important signal that regardless of their disagreements, both Russia and Iran have come to appreciate their political and military partnership and now seek to project it into other areas, including maritime security.
Second, with Iranian tensions with the United States and Arab nations on the rise, collaborating with Russia over security of its shoreline may provide Iran with a feeling of safety.
While the memorandum itself is of little operational significance and more of a political gesture, what may follow is a bilateral alliance to protect against a possible American assault on Iran. Some even see the makings of a Russian-Iranian version of the anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy used by China to try to keep the United States out of the western Pacific.
Read more at: Global Affairs
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