Russia’s dialogue with Iran has emerged as one of the most dynamic fronts of Moscow’s diplomacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Moscow twice this summer — first in June and then in July — to discuss the future of the nuclear deal, as well as the coordinated response to the American campaign to extend the UN arms embargo on Tehran.
Against this backdrop, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami's trip to the Army-2020 Military Forum taking place Aug. 23-29 is adding fuel to speculation about Moscow and Tehran ramping up military-technical cooperation once the Iran arms embargo expires Oct. 18. The American proposal to extend the restrictions was brought up in the UN Security Council but was rejected. Washington’s demand to use the so-called snapback mechanism to impose sanctions on Tehran also seems unlikely to yield results.