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Russia’s alliance with Iran holds strong—for now

The marriage is one of convenience, meaning it is more fragile than it looks

By Rupert Stone  

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Parspix/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Iran and Russia are closer than ever before. They both have tense relations with the west and stand united in opposition to the United States. “Our cooperation can isolate America,” said Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, when Russian president Vladimir Putin visited Tehran last November. Russia and Iran have also been the main supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as he battles rebel fighters backed by the US and other countries. And, as violence escalates again in…

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