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What Iran's presidential election means for Russia

As Russia’s and Iran’s foreign policies become congruent, Russia looks to Iran’s 2017 elections for clues into their future relationship.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) welcomes Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Tehran, Iran, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.  - RTX1VGAC
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On Nov. 29, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation during which Rouhani noted that cooperation between Moscow and Tehran in fighting terrorism in Syria “had a historic effect” on regional stability. The conversation came a few days after the announcement that Tehran is considering the possibility of letting Moscow use its Hamadan Air Base, which could further boost cooperation between the two states.

Meanwhile, given the history, geopolitics and the current state of the relationship, Russia is particularly watchful of the forthcoming presidential election in Iran. The election may have significant implications for the Middle East and beyond. However, it wouldn’t be an overestimation to argue that for Moscow, the 2017 Iranian election means a lot more than previous elections, as the foreign policies of the two countries are more congruent than in the past.

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