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Moscow’s Message on Iran Has Been Cautious and Almost Neutral

Anna Borshchevskaya

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The Hill

January 3, 2018

The muted response to the protests may stem from Russia's reliance on Iranian assistance in Syria and its dearth of other regional partners.

Moscow’s response to the massive anti-regime protests gripping Iran since Dec. 28 should have been predictable—a condemnation of another perceived “U.S.-led regime change.” President Vladimir Putin’s position with this topic after all is well known. This is how Moscow characterized anti-authoritarian protests from the color revolutions in the post-Soviet space to the Arab Spring and protests against Putin himself. Yet on Dec. 31, the chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee said that the protests in Iran are a “symptom of certain internal political processes in the country.” To be sure, he did not dismiss “external influence” entirely, but said, “I would not ascribe too much influence on the Iranian processes to Washington...”

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