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Intel: How Russia and Iran are drawing closer on Gulf, Syria

The Russian and Iranian foreign ministers met in Moscow to discuss regional issues and opportunities for cooperation.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iran's counterpart Javad Zarif shake hands after a news conference following their meeting in Moscow, Russia, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina? - RC1701538170

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosted his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday for wide-ranging talks on everything from the 2015 nuclear deal and the conflict in Syria to Gulf tensions and the wars in Yemen and Afghanistan. In the run-up to the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed the importance of “the tradition of good neighborly relations and mutual respect” between the two countries and highlighted the fact that Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani have met twice this year.

Why it matters:  Iran is at the center of increasing tensions across the region, from the slow implosion of the nuclear deal to attacks on shipping in the Gulf and Israeli attacks on Iranian proxies in at least three countries. Zarif’s trip to Russia is part of a weeks-long tour of Europe and Asia to try to secure some support against US President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure campaign.

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