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Russia hosts Iran, China security chiefs after escalation with Israel

Iran's highest-ranking security official traveled to Russia to meet with other like-minded advisers and to promote its fight against "Western hegemony."
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's president, Ebrahim Raisi, hold a meeting in Tehran on July 19, 2022.

TEHRAN — Iran's highest-ranking security official, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, was in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Tuesday for meetings with his Russian and Chinese counterparts as well as an international summit of national security advisers from like-minded states.

Upon arrival in Saint Petersburg, Ahmadian told Iran's state TV that his mission was to promote "multilateralism" and to fight "Western hegemony and monopoly over global security spheres."

Ahmadian specifically highlighted the timing of his trip in the context of the ongoing Gaza war and a recent flareup between Iran and Israel. He noted that the meetings will allow him to "seek justice for Palestinians under aggression and oppression inflicted by the Zionist regime."

The Russia meetings also follow a tense three-week episode between Iran and Israel, which pushed the two archenemies to the brink of an all-out war. Earlier in the month, seven senior Iranian officers with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus. The incident prompted Tehran to retaliate less than a fortnight later with a barrage of over 300 drones and missiles toward Israel. Marking the first-ever direct Iranian confrontation with Israel, the strikes were followed by an attack attributed to Israel on an air base in Iran's central Isfahan province.

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