RIA Novosti

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The Dangerous Dance of Iran and Russia

Tensions are rising as Iran and Russia continue to cozy up, each increasingly leaning on the other in the face of crippling Western economic sanctions.

This week, senior Iranian military officials landed in Moscow with a mission in mind. According to a report by Reuters, citing Russia’s Defence Ministry, they were there to talk shop, specifically to hash out the details of cooperation between Iranian and Russian ground forces. Leading the delegation was Iran’s Ground Forces Commander Kioumars Heydari, arriving to tackle the thorny “issues of bilateral military cooperation.”

“The Russian Federation views Iran as one of the key states in the Middle East – it is Russia’s strategic partner and the constant intensive political dialogue is a hallmark of the current stage of our partnership,” boasted Oleg Salyukov, a top Russian general.

Indeed, since Russia launched its war against Ukraine, Moscow and Tehran have only drawn closer, united under the shadow of Western economic sanctions. Both countries are busy plotting a future together, with Salyukov revealing that intense political negotiations are happening behind closed doors, aimed at boosting their relationship.

Heydari and Salyukov’s talks revolved around some serious hardware, specifically the kind of military cooperation designed to bolster the Iranian and Russian armies’ combat readiness.

But it’s not just friendly dialogue that’s got the world worried. Iran stands accused by Western leaders of selling massive numbers of drones for deployment against Ukraine—an allegation Tehran has denied.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, there’s no denying the two nations are growing closer. Reports and allegations abound, particularly concerning Tehran providing Moscow with Shahed-136 drones. These aren’t just for show; they’ve been deployed extensively, terrorizing Ukrainian civilian areas and attacking vital infrastructure.

Just this past Thursday, the plot thickened. The Washington Post revealed that a Russian scientist, allegedly involved in a drone production scheme, had leaked documents showing Iran is actively aiding Russia in building a drone factory on Russian soil.

Russia’s plan? Produce 6,000 drones by the summer of 2025, with Iran providing the technical know-how. The documents didn’t stop there; they revealed that the facility’s engineers are striving to one-up Iran’s old manufacturing methods, tapping into Russian industry to produce the drones on an epic scale, with more rigorous quality control. They’re even working on making the drones capable of coordinated swarm attacks—a technological leap in warfare.

The situation is turning into a nightmare for the Biden administration. As it dances around nuclear negotiations and prisoner swaps with Tehran, the intertwining of Iran and Russia’s interests becomes clearer by the day. They’re acting in concert to stymie Western support for Ukraine. Iran’s playing both sides, negotiating with the U.S. while conspiring with Russia. Any U.S. sanctions relief for Iran will undoubtedly boost Russia, as the two nations are now tightly linked.

But this dangerous alliance doesn’t stop at military collaboration. Both Russia and Iran, cut off from global banking, key export markets, and foreign tech, are forced to double down on their relationship. They’re forging economic ties with other nations that are similarly shunned by the international community. This includes rogue states like North Korea and Belarus, not to mention Venezuela and Myanmar, all sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union for their human rights abuses.

The stark reality is that the U.S. can no longer treat Iran and Russia as separate entities; they’re part of a united front of rogue nations that must be seen as international outcasts. The growing bond between these two countries threatens to unleash further conflict and devastation. The U.S. has to draw a line in the sand, making it clear to Iran that playing both sides isn’t an option. A strong, decisive response is needed, one that will prevent Iran from further propping up Russia’s aggressive stance. The world is watching.