According to a report from Al-Monitor, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with leading Russian officials in Moscow last month.
Russia and Iran have generally been allied in recent years in their efforts to prop up the Assad regime in Syria and forge alliances to check the U.S. presence in the Middle East.
This recent report came at a time when the White House doubled down on its sanctions directed towards Iran. On August 7, 2020, the Trump administration announced the replacement of U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook with recent Venezuela envoy and Iran hawk Elliot Abrams.
Abrams’s appointment “appears to bury any remaining chance of a diplomatic initiative with Iran before the end of Mr. Trump’s term,” the New York Times reported on August 7.
In the past few months, Iran has turned to Russia, in addition to China, for support against Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign. The United Nations arms embargo on Iran is a pressing issue as it approaches its renewal vote, U.S. officials are not optimistic about cooperation from U.N. Security Council members China and Russia in attempting to renew the sanctions.
“The strategy in a perfect world will always be to have them abstain and obviously not veto” the embargo, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft stated.
“However, let’s be realistic here. Right now the strategy is working with other members of the Security Council” to put China and Russia “in a corner and shine a light on them,” Craft stated. “Everyone is going to know this is a choice between tyranny and freedom.”
Should the U.N. embargo fail around October, Washington should be reinstating all sanctions on Iran in a process described as the “snapback.”
It’s becoming clear that the U.S.’s nosy foreign policy is creating a new dynamic where a rival political bloc comprised of China, Iran, and Russia are forming to combat the liberal internationalist order.
In effect, belligerent actions by the U.S. towards any of these countries will only push them together and continue to add countries into their coalition against the U.S.
The more the U.S. escalates, the stronger the incentive for this bloc to consolidate.