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Can Iran rely on Russia to dodge US pressure?

Iran is relying on Russia to minimize the impact of the US "maximum pressure" campaign, but Russia seems to have reservations while it also enjoys certain advantages if US-Iran tensions remain unresolved, albeit at a controlled level.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a news conference, after a meeting in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 14 February 2019. Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS - RC158EB139B0
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For now, dialogue with the Trump administration is not on Iran’s agenda. The Islamic Republic is instead implementing a policy of “resistance” by focusing on improving its economy and mobilizing public support. In parallel, it is engaged in active diplomacy to boost trade and circumvent US sanctions.

As part of the diplomatic frenzy, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently visited Russia, Turkmenistan, Japan, India and China. The last two are leading oil costumers of Iran that have proven that they will ultimately comply with US sanctions to avert punitive measures. Even as China has demonstrated relatively steadfast opposition against US pressure, it does not yet seem to be reliable enough for Iran to fully count on.

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