The Big Picture

An Alliance Shadowed by Rivalry

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  • Moscow’s ties with Tehran continue to tighten, as Western sanctions and the Ukraine war prompt closer cooperation, notably in the military and energy sectors.

  • From trading in national currencies to growing a shadow oil tanker fleet and opening up new transport corridors, the two allies aim to thrive unencumbered by the West.

  • But shared interests cannot mask the fact that sanctions will hamper collaboration and force them to compete for a shrinking pool of buyers in their vital oil markets.

As the conflict in Ukraine edges toward its first anniversary and Western sanctions on Russian oil exports tighten, Moscow has drawn ever closer to Tehran. For Russia, Iran's long experience of circumventing sanctions and ability to provide goods that Russia can no longer source from elsewhere have made Iran, for all its limitations, an increasingly useful ally. For Iran, besides advancing its strategy of pivoting east, this represents a unique opportunity to make itself indispensable to the world’s biggest nuclear power.

Sanctions, Military Conflict, Trade, Policy and Regulation, Security Risk , Oil Supply, Gas Supply, Oil Trade, Ukraine Crisis
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