On Friday, two Russian warships, the Volgodonsk and Mahachkala docked at the northern Iranian port city of Anzali in a bid to boost friendly ties between the navies of the two countries.
“The maritime relations between Russia and Iran will be expanded and we will go ahead with our official and unofficial visits to Iran,” Capt Kirill Taranenko, the head of the Russian fleet, said upon arrival. He added that the two sides planned to hold joint naval drills while there.
The ships arrived in Anzali on Friday and planned to stay for three days. Some 130 Russian sailors were part of the flotilla.
Anzali is on the Caspian Sea, an area where Iranian and Russian leaders have pledged greater cooperation in recent years. For example, during a speech in Russia last September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated, “The Caspian Sea should be the center of development and welfare, and the symbol of peace, security and cooperation among our nations.”
The visit took place only five days after the head of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi warned the US not to take slightest hostile move against Iran, stressing that Tehran’s response will be unpredictably strong.
The western media are mocking at the US for speaking of ‘on the table options (against Iran)’ because the US always utters some words without the ability to materialize them and … we are ready to give such a powerful response to the slightest move of the US that it won’t be able to make any other moves,” Fadavi said, addressing a ceremony in the Northern city of Zibakenar on Monday.
He said that the Iranian Armed Forces are now at the highest level of preparedness, stating that only the dead body of the American troops realizes the power of the Islamic Revolution.
Fadavi also referred to the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, including the US, and said, “The Islamic Revolution has given the other side a rare opportunity and they should take care not to miss this opportunity.”
Russian and Iranian ties have grown closer in recent months as Putin is determined to have a well-armed Iran with a pro-Russia stance. A mere eleven days after the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries was signed in early April, Russia announced that it would send Tehran sophisticated air-defense missiles originally promised but were withheld when sanctions against Iran were stiffened in 2010
But for Russia, the S-300 sale was a preemptive strike of a different kind to ensure that Russia would not lose its best opportunity to enter the Iranian market before the potential lifting of international sanctions.
“A few years back, I heard one of our diplomats say: ‘A pro-American Iran is more dangerous for us than a nuclear Iran,’ ” said Russian Middle East expert Georgy Mirsky, explaining that this philosophy, though unofficial, guides the thinking of many in the Kremlin — especially as the United States has made overtures to ease relations with Tehran.
“If you look at this as a zero-sum game, Iran getting closer to the West is a weakening of the Russian position,” Mirsky said. “And for this it is necessary to bring a preventative blow, before the implementation of this nuclear agreement, to show Iran that we are the most reliable partner and the only great power you can rely on.”
Another unintended consequence of the P5+1 deal is a newly armed Iran allied with Russia causing havoc in the west.