The Tripartite Summit in Tehran: Expansion of Cooperation, Isolation of the West and a Protracted War

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

Following the Jeddah summit, which stressed the need for Middle Eastern countries to reach a mutual understanding, organise their differences and find a solution to the Palestinian cause, the Iranian-Turkish-Russian Summit in Tehran confirmed similar objectives. Despite differences between Iran and Turkey over Syria and Ankara’s insistence on its position to maintain the occupation of parts of Syria, the tripartite Summit recorded and demonstrated a new strategic axis. This indicates the determination of the countries of the defiant anti-US axis (Russia and Iran) to move away from the West: to strengthen the forces to resolve differences, find common ground, and adhere to further understanding and cooperation. The Tehran summit, like the Jeddah summit, resulted in great success for all parties and demonstrated the will to break the US’s unsuccessful isolation of its opponents and enemies, not to mention its necessary ally (Turkey).

Undoubtedly the situation in Syria was one of the main topics discussed during the tripartite Summit, which brought together presidents Ibrahim Raisi, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is essential to mention that Russia and Iran are the countries subject to the harshest Western sanctions and have united around several strategic goals. The most important is to expand the horizon of cooperation in energy, military industrialisation, trade and the use of local currencies for exchange and economic growth. Therefore, de-dollarisation is one of the most vital goals for all countries willing to detach themselves from the US’s politico-financial dominance.

Tehran’s Summit did discuss Syria and the importance of its sovereignty, but it also discussed issues that are no less important. Indeed, Russia and Iran are oil and gas exporters who decided to cooperate with Ankara in the energy field, among other objectives most needed by Turkey. This cooperative move would enable President Erdogan to offer his country an essential primary source and redistribute this Russian-Iranian energy to the European continent adjacent to Turkey. Turkey would represent the closest and most adequate solution if the old continent cannot otherwise obtain the quantity (155 billion cubic meters of gas and 2.5 million of b/d) necessary to reduce dependence on Russian gas. Algerian, Emirati and Azeri gas and gasoline maybe insufficient to fulfil the EU’s energy supply needs.

In fact, Ankara could benefit from becoming an energy hub and promote itself to an important strategic position to support Europe with energy. In exchange, the European Union would revise Ankara’s demand to join the EU, presented in 1999 but to no avail.

The other important point of the discussion during the Summit was the cooperation and the memorandum of understanding amounting to 40 billion dollars between the National Iranian Oil Company and the Russian company “Gazprom”. This strategic step indicates the intentions of these oil-producing countries to dispense with the US and European companies that have long monopolised oil industry global markets with their capabilities in the manufacturing of products related to energy drilling, extraction and exploitation of oil and gas and building refineries. Russia will replace international companies such as BP, Total, Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and RDSA, which are already established in west Asia (and around the world). 

Many western oil companies that signed contracts with Tehran withdrew in 2018 when President Donald Trump tore up the nuclear deal and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran. This step indicates and confirms the Iranian radical shift towards the East, as President Ibrahim Raisi promised when he assumed power. It proves the determination of the “Islamic Republic” to increase its extraction of oil amid a thirsty market, as shown by recent international developments and the consequences that will emanate from the war on Ukraine.

There is no doubt that the presence of a country (Turkey) which has the most significant number of troops after the US in NATO at the same table as Presidents Putin and Raisi is a crucial step in the context of the US’s imposition of sanctions and isolation on Moscow and Tehran. The two presidents, Raisi and Putin, agreed to develop a relationship with Erdogan and convince him to calm the situation in the Levant, where the three countries work in one theatre. Moscow and Tehran enjoy strong influence and solidarity with the Damascus 

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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher