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The unholy alliance of Khamenei and Putin

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BY:Dr Behrooz Behbudi-
Vancouver
2 December 2015-

In dismissing the criticisms of his domestic political foes, the late Shah of Iran used to describe them as coming from an alliance of the Reds and Blacks, where the former represented the pro-Moscow left-wing groups, and the latter the reactionary clerics who opposed his liberal reforms. What connected the two seemingly opposite sides of the political spectrum was their common enmity towards the West, represented by the United States.

Thirty-six years after the Shah’s fall, his worst nightmare seems to have come true, as a regime that rules Iran under the false banner of Islam, has now turned the country into the most active ally of Vladimir Putin Russia.

The Russian president’s visit to Iran last week, ostensibly to take part in an international conference of natural gas-producing countries, was deliberately perverted by Tehran and Moscow to demonstrate this unholy alliance to the world, when against all diplomatic protocols the Russian leader jumped in a limo after debarking from his plane to go call on Khamenei and spend hours negotiating with him behind closed doors.

A former foreign minister and an advisor to Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati was so excited about the encounter that he described it as “the best and the most important diplomatic event in the whole history of the Islamic Republic.”

The Russian president’s visit to Iran last week, ostensibly to take part in an international conference of natural gas-producing countries, was deliberately perverted by Tehran and Moscow to demonstrate this unholy alliance to the world.

Though neither side has said anything about the topics of the Putin-Khamenei talks, it is not hard to imagine that the main chunk of their discussions concerned how to save the Assad regime in Syria and counter the Islamic State.

However, these shared foreign policy objectives of Moscow and Tehran show us only one side of the coin, as in the words of the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), Iran’s [and Russia’s?] ultimate aim is “to drive the U.S. out of the Middle East.”

Such bold ambitions would not have been made plain had the Western democracies shown robust leadership in face of Russian neo-imperialist designs for the Middle East through the expansionist policy of the radical factions of the Islamic republic, who take their cue from Khamenei-IRGC coalition.

Indeed, for many Iranians the Putin-Khamenei alliance spells further damage to the national interest, given the historically manipulative policies of Moscow towards Iran.

At the Centre for a Democratic Iran (CDI) we have repeatedly warned against Khamenei’s paranoid “anti-Americanism”, which has been music to the ears of the Russians. While Moscow uses Iran’s water territories in the Caspian Sea to comfortably launch its cruise missiles against the anti-Assad forces, the Islamic republic is providing the foot soldiers for a war that has turned the Arab world against our nation.

The Western governments may organise as many peace conferences over Syria as they wish. However, so long as they appease to the despotic rule of Khamenei and his associates in the Revolutionary Guard, the bloodshed in the Middle East will continue.

The Iranian people hardly have any say about what is being done in their name in Syria, which is currently the greatest security crisis in the world with untold human tragedies.

In my capacity as the founder and president of the CDI, I, within my capabilities, have continuously supported the struggle of my people for democracy, human rights, social justice and gender equality in Iran. I will continue to do so until these noble ideals are achieved.

It is my unwavering belief that the peace in Syria, and the wider Middle East will only be achieved through the removal of the despotic system of the Velayate Faghih (rule of Khamenei) and its replacement with a secular democratic system of government.

The Western governments may organise as many peace conferences over Syria as they wish. However, so long as they appease to the despotic rule of Khamenei and his associates in the Revolutionary Guard, the bloodshed in the Middle East will continue.