I got the email about Putin's Munich speech, after a several day delay. Just one problem with the white paper, after declaring that the Russians are not interested in Iran per se, the author then notes that the Russian traditional drive for land and influence depends on the Americans being involved in a protracted Iraqi involvement. Which means that in order for the white-paper to be valid in terms of Russian goals, none can be reached. The Iranians still will comit to regional domination and oil prices set by OPEC. While the Saudis will still be interested in clandestine oil production surges and American military presence.
All of which goes against Russia's goal of solving oil price depressions, securing its own breakaway provinces, and leaves Iran out of direct control of Russian policy in the region. Never mind the fact that the Iranians and Russians pretty much have nothing in common to overcome centuries of hostilities and conflict. Were it not for the British esentially taking over Iran during World War II, the aid supplies fed into the Soviet Union towards the Stalingrad Front would not have existed. The Iranians didn't see any need to aid the Soviets.
So I guess the groundwork in the whitepaper is pretty solid, but the author kinda glosses over the salient fact that the Iranians are highly unlikely to change their own policy to coincide with the Russian's advantage. Never mind the fact that the issue of the Saudis still being totally divorced from Russian influence, and moreover highly unlikely to accept anything that would benefit the Iranian's desire for regional hegemony.
It seems that the Russian policy of hoping for a distracted USA, while turning the Iranians and Sudis into close economic allies has little hope of becoming reality on any level.
I'd argue that the Russians would be better served to force the current Iranian government to conceed its current policy towards its military expansion via the UN diplomacy and force of USA military threat. If that happened, Iran would become an open economic market, one which the Russians could exploit much better than they currently do.
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