What is Putin aiming for in Iran?

The Russian president is flying to Tehran today Tuesday for his fifth meeting with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and a three-way summit with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Commentators speculate about the intentions of the Kremlin leader.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Clear message to the West

The Russian president's trip could not be more heavily symbolic, La Repubblica notes:

“By choosing to visit the Islamic Republic, an enemy of the US, and reviving the so-called Astana format, in which Turkey, Russia and Iran divided up Syria [held in 2015 and named after the then named capital of Kazakhstan], Putin is sending a clear message to the West and Washington in particular. He wants to show that the sanctions have not isolated Russia but have actually strengthened its ties with the East, China, India and even Iran. ... At the same time he is on the lookout for new business partners, after admitting that the sanctions in the high-tech sector have caused 'colossal difficulties'.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Obvious strategising

The Russian president is mainly focused on grain exports and combat drones, writes Habertürk:

“Considerable progress has already been made on the issue of Ukrainian grain. Now the agenda is to push the delivery of Russian grain products to the markets. ... This could allow 30 billion dollars worth of grain products to reach the global market. ... Putin [also] wants to strengthen his relationship with his military- and trading partner Iran, America's main rival in this region. The purchase of unmanned combat drones from Iran for use in the Ukraine war is on his agenda.”