Vladimir Sazhin: Putin's visit to Iran is worthy of study in the Institute of International Relations
On Wednesday, the Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi announced that Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani will meet for the first time in September at the SCO summit. Thus, the Iranian diplomat put an end to the specualtions around Putin's visit to Iran in August. Vestinik Kavkaza asked the senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies, political scientist Vladimir Sazhin to comment on the situation.
Vladimir Sazhin said that we should not exaggerate the degree of secrecy that surrounded the planned visit of Vladimir Putin to Iran. "I do not think that in general the whole story with the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Iran is covered with darkness. Originally, as we know, the Russian leader was to make a Caspian tour with a visit to the major ports on the Caspian Sea, here I have in mind Baku, Anzali and one port in Turkmenistan. In Baku he was also to meet President Nazarbayev. So in each of his stops Putin was to meet with the presidents, in Baku with two at once, with the Azerbaijani President and the President of Kazakhstan. It was expected that in Anzali he would meet the new president of Iran, Rouhani," Sazhin said.
It appears, however, that Tehran had hoped for a different scenario. "The format of the visit, apparently, did quite satisfy the Iranian authorities. And they offered Putin to visit Tehran as well, and meet with the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. As we know, the president of Iran ranks second in the hierarchy of leadership, he is the chief of the executive branch, and the head of state is Ayatollah Khamenei," the expert said.
However, this in turn did not suit the Russian side. "This, of course, violates the entire prepared protocol of Putin's visit. It is one thing to visit a country in order to attempt to solve the Caspian issue. This is one format of the visit. But when you visit the capital and meet with the president, it is a different format. Therefore, quite naturally, the Kremlin refused the visit to Tehran. And now, I think the visit to the Iranian port of Anzali is also under question. And since yesterday the Iranian ambassador to Moscow said that the meeting of the two Presidents will not take place in August, and presumably will only take place in September at the SCO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, then it may be assumed that President Putin will not visit Anzali at all, and will limit his tour to Baku, and possibly Turkmenistan," Vladimir Sazhin said.
He also noted that the event is of great interest in terms of diplomacy. "Actually, this story is worthy of study at the faculties of the Institute of International Relations. Because, really, in terms of diplomacy, it is a very interesting and complicated story."