Strengthening of Relations Between Tehran and Moscow Good for Regional Stability: Rezapanah

December 31, 2000 - 0:0
TEHRAN On the recent trip of the Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev to Iran, this writer conducted an interview with two Iranian officials. The first was Reza Rezapanah, supervisor of the Center for Central Asian and Caucasus Studies, who considered the trip of the Russian defense minister to Iran as very significant.

He said, "This trip took place at a time when certain countries wished to apply their domestic laws pertaining to relations between countries extraterritorially. The United States wished to apply its laws with respect to Iran-Russia relations."

He pointed out that this trip was significant from various points of view. "Firstly, this trip serves as a prologue to our president's trip to Russia. Secondly, it expands bilateral relations between the two countries, with reference to the history that exists between the two countries. And thirdly, it expands bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries."

"Considering the 1995 agreement between Russia and the United States, which stipulates that Russia should not sell weapons to Iran, can Iran trust the Russians?"

Rezapanah replied, "The agreement was signed by two particular persons [former vice president Al Gore and former prime minister Chernomyrdin] . It cannot now affect relations between Russia and its neighboring countries. Furthermore, the Russian defense minister has announced that this agreement is a thing of the past. It has no value at present."

He added, "The strengthening of relations between Tehran and Moscow is good for stability in the region. As a powerful country, Iran has an effect on bringing about change in the Middle East, influencing the Middle East peace process and the occupying regime in Al-Qods.

He added, "If we study changes in Russia in the past ten years, we will observe a trend of a return to Russian identity."

"The United States is very concerned about the Russian defense minister's trip to Iran; it fears that any cooperation between Russia and Iran would endanger U.S. national security."

Rezazadeh said in response, "The United States pursues a policy of reining in Iran and Russia. It will never succeed."

Mohammad Shahi Arabloo, Majlis representative from Hashtroud, said, "In view of Iran's independence and power, the Russian defense minister's trip is of great import as well as beneficial for Iran. The Russians are aware that as of the onset of the revolution Iran's independence and its policy of eliminating tension with various countries, especially Russia, is not merely a slogan; rather it is a serious decision. Stability in relations between Iran and other countries arises from precisely such trips."

He added, "The more involved Iran is in Middle East issues, the greater calm and stability will follow in the region. Neighboring and regional countries view Iran's existence in the region as having a calming effect. Relations between Iran and Russia further increases stability and security in the region."

"The United States is very concerned about the Russian defense minister's trip to Iran; it fears that any cooperation between Russia and Iran would endanger U.S. national security."

"The U.S. concern over cooperation between Iran and Russia is groundless. If the United States truly claims to promote peace and human rights, then its concern is without reason. For one of the pillars of peace and human rights is developing such relations between countries. If such relations cause concern for the United States, it should forgo its slogans; for it is then not a supporter of peace, stability and human rights throughout the globe."