Vladimir Putin has the flailing West over a barrel - by Con Coughlin - 21.07.22

Updated: Jul 22

A sinister new alliance between Russia and Iran may be about to crystallise following diplomatic talks in Tehran this week between Vladimir Putin and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Con Coughlin in an article for the Telegraph.

And the reason?

“Today, Iran considers itself to be locked in the same existential struggle for survival against the West as the Russians, to the extent that the Iranian leadership is prepared to set aside its usual disdain for non-Islamic regimes in its haste to welcome Moscow’s embrace.”

Russia and Iran share a paranoia towards the West as was evident in the Ayatollah’s comments following his meeting with Putin:

“He declared: “If you had not taken the initiative, the other side would have caused the war with its own initiative. If the road is open to Nato, it knows no boundaries, and if it was not stopped in Ukraine, it would start the same war some time later under the pretext of Crimea.

Iran’s paranoid attitude is the same as Mr Putin’s, which is why the fledgling pact between Russia and Iran could prove to be a potent threat to the Western alliance.”

More worryingly

“Kamal Kharrazi, a former Iranian foreign minister, said that Iran was technically capable of making a nuclear bomb, but had not decided yet whether to build one.

As the nation that boasts the world’s largest nuclear weapons arsenal, the possibility that Moscow might help Tehran to fulfil its long-held nuclear ambitions is a truly alarming prospect.”

And with Moscow playing a key role in frustrating attempts by the Biden administration to revive the Iranian nuclear deal

“Iran’s response has been to help Russia evade sanctions, using the complex financial structures that it has put in place to defy the West to enable Russia to export its oil on international markets via a “ghost armada” of oil tankers, which switch off their GPS systems the moment they put to sea.

The knowledge that he has the active support of rogue regimes such as Iran will undoubtedly encourage Mr Putin in the belief that, despite the military setbacks he is suffering in Ukraine, he can still cause difficulties for his Western adversaries.

It is unlikely, for example, that Mr Putin would be so willing to cut off gas supplies to Europe – a threat that he issued immediately after returning from Tehran – unless he was confident he could make up the revenue shortfall by using Iran’s oil-smuggling network.

It’s not just fuel. With Putin now controlling Ukrainian grain exports, he has the West over a barrel on food as well:

“Significant parts of the world face the prospect of starvation this winter unless Mr Putin relents. But this is unlikely so long as he can count on the support of his newfound friends in Tehran.”

The full article can be found below with a link to the original here.

Article by Con Coughlin for the Telegraph - Vladimir Putin has the flailing West over a ba
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