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IRAN and RUSSIA Neighbors without Borders. Abbas Maleki [email protected] Presented at Polish-Iranian Roundtable IPIS, Tehran April 19, 2005. Introduction. Iran and Russia: Their relations and its impacts on 4 levels -International -Regional

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iran and russia neighbors without borders

IRAN and RUSSIANeighbors without Borders

Abbas Maleki

[email protected]

Presented at

Polish-Iranian Roundtable

IPIS, Tehran

April 19, 2005

  • Iran and Russia: Their relations and its impacts on 4 levels





  • Conclusions

Iran & Russia, Maleki

russia the biggest country in the world
Russia: The Biggest Country in the World

Iran and the North, Abbas Maleki

russia at a glance
Russia at a glance
  • Population: 143.2 million (UN, 2003)
  • Capital: Moscow
  • Major language: Russian
  • Major religions: Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 61 years (men), 73 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 ruble = 100 kopecks
  • Main exports: Oil and oil products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, weapons and military equipment
  • GNI per capita: US $2,130 (World Bank, 2002)

Iran & Russia, Maleki

iran at a glance
Iran at a glance
  • Population: 68.9 million (UN, 2003)
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Area: 1.65m sq km (636,313 sq miles)
  • Major language: Persian
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: 69 years (men), 72 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 10 Iranian Rials = 1 Toman
  • Main exports: Petroleum, carpets, agricultural products
  • GNI per capita: US $1,720 (World Bank, 2002)

Iran & Russia, Maleki

international level
International Level
  • World New Order
  • NATO expansion to the East
  • UN Security Council
  • Nuclear Issue
  • Asian Identity
  • North-South Corridor

Iran & Russia, Maleki

regional level
Regional Level
  • Symmetric Interests in Central Asia -Tajik Civil War
  • Asymmetric interests in Caucasia -Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict


  • Bi-polar Roles in Afghanistan

-Northern Alliance

  • Caspian Sea Legal Regime
  • ECO

Iran & Russia, Maleki

bilateral level
Bilateral Level
  • Economic Relations

Non-military ties are not more than $800 millions in 2004

  • Educational and Scientific ties

Launching Satellite

Assembling airplanes, textiles, heavy industries

Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Polymers

  • Nuclear Technology
  • Air Space Technology
  • Energy


-Oil and Gas

  • Defense Cooperation

Missile Defense Systems

Iran & Russia, Maleki

provincial level
Provincial Level
  • Connections between Iranian provinces and Russian Federation’s Republics:

-Gilan and Astrakhan

-East Azerbaijan and Dagestan

-Kerman and Moscow

Iran & Russia, Maleki

soviet s foreign policy
Soviet’s Foreign Policy
  • Soviet’s Foreign Policy was the conclusion of interaction between national interests and Communism ideology
  • Marx: Proletariat doesn’t have the country.
  • From 1947, Soviet competition with US:

-Cold War

-Peaceful Coexistence



  • Gorbachev and Regan meeting in Iceland, 1986:

-2 superpowers nuclear weapons reduction

-Soviet economic deterioration

Iran & Russia, Maleki

russia s foreign policy 1
Russia’s Foreign Policy (1)
  • 1992-1996: Full coordination with US, idealism and democracy
  • 1996-2000: Strategic alliance with China and India, focus to Asia, Middle East
  • 2000-Sep. 20001: Eurasianism
  • Sep. 2001-now: acceptance of unipolar system

Iran & Russia, Maleki

russia s foreign policy 2 schools of thoughts
Russia’s Foreign Policy (2)Schools of Thoughts
  • Westerners (Atlanticism):
  • Andrea Kozyrov (Aug. 1991-Dec. 1992)
  • Jion to Democratic Club,
  • Cooperation with EU, NATO, IMF, WB, OECD, G7
  • Reduction of relations with Near Abroad

Kozyrov’s Followers: Assertive to the West

Liberal Politicians: Civilized dialogue both with

the West and CIS

Iran & Russia, Maleki

russia s foreign policy 3 schools of thoughts
Russia’s Foreign Policy (3)Schools of Thoughts
  • Eurasianists

Response to the Westerners.

Focus on Russian’s Geopolitics


-The Democratic Version (Reformists)

-The Slavophil Version

  • Derzhavniki (National Power)

Iran and the North, Abbas Maleki

oil proved reserves
Oil Proved Reserves

Iran & Russia, Maleki

us behavior impacts on iran and russia
US behavior impacts on Iran and Russia
  • United States is the world’s largest energy producer, consumer, and importer as respectively 7.45, 20.07, 12.85 mbd
  • US various sanctions on Iran like ILSA
  • May 2002 Summit between Bush and Putin: Signing an agreement on “Energy Partnership”.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

russia s policies after 9 11
Russia’s Policies after 9/11

-Each country has its specific terrorists

-Russian long-term Cooperation with US in energy market

-New Terminals in Murmansk, Primorsk,

Iran & Russia, Maleki

iran an opec member russia a non opec
Iran: an OPEC MemberRussia: a non-OPEC
  • Iran is obliged to OPEC share and therefore is avoiding flooding the market with its oil.
  • Russia is not obligated to abide by any quota system.
  • Russia as a non-OPEC producer, has produces and export more of its oil since the late 1990s and most of the increase in non-OPEC production has come from Russia
  • This surge in Russia’s share in global oil markets is at the expense of OPEC.
  • But OPEC and Russia have sought Moscow’s cooperation.

-To restrain production to a certain level to prevent a

collapse of oil prices

-The investment in Siberia was very high

-Russian oil companies wanted to recover market shares

lost since the demise of the Soviet Union.

  • Russia cut only 150,000 bd in the first quarter of 2002.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

hurdles of cooperation between iran and russia s oil and gas sectors
Hurdles of Cooperation between Iran and Russia’s oil and gas sectors:
  • Major oil and gas industries in Russia has been largely privatized.

5 companies have 70% of country’s oil production: Yokus, LUKoil, Surgutneftegaz, TNK and Sibneft.

  • All of Iranian oil and gas companies are SOEs.
  • Mergers like TNK-BP means more barriers for Russian companies for investing in Iran.
  • Production costs are much higher in Russia than in Iran. Iran makes money at $10 per barrel, but production becomes unprofitable for Russian companies at this low price.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

caspian importance for us
Caspian importance for US
  • Caspian is not important for US as it was before 11/9

-War against terrorism

-The change in US strategy in the region

from political-economic to security-military


-The importance of countries with strong

ability to fight against terrorism instead of

rich energy countries.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

agreements among 5 littoral states
Agreements among 5 Littoral States
  • The Convention on Environment was signed in November 2003 in Tehran.
  • Consensus over transportation as 1940 agreement says
  • The different agreement on species of the Caspian, 50% of sturgeon trade is for Iran
  • The next summit will be in Iran in 2006??
  • 14 round of negotiations among littoral states
  • Several bilateral, trilateral discussions.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

pipeline routes an impression
  • Bottlenecks and
  • Pipelines
  • 11 oil pipeline projects/ 6 operational
  • 6 natural gas pipeline projects/2 operational.
  • Of particular notice:
    • CPC
    • BTC
    • TCP

Iran & Russia, Maleki

relations with china
Relations with China
  • China’s Asymmetric Deterrence: China with modernized military is ready to fight along its border without permit the third party to intervene.
  • Instability inside China: Socio-economic crisis in Northern part of China causes vast emigration to Russia
  • Islamic Fundamentalism: Xinjiang independence should be a bed for Islamic fundamentalism and a copy for Central Asia.
  • Future of Relations: Russians don’t know Chinese tendency after economic growth and solving Taiwan problem:

-Shift to the South, no threats on Russian borders

-Shift to the North, tension increases in China-CIS borders.

Iran and the North, Abbas Maleki

  • Caspian Sea Legal Affairs
  • Military presence in Caspian Sea
  • Interactions with US, Israel
  • The possibility of Russo-Iranian cooperation in the oil sector is remote.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

conclusions i
Conclusions (I)
  • Russia wants to have good relations with Islamic countries. Iran is frontier of Islamic countries.
  • Iran is eager to show to the US, Policies such ‘regime change’ is not working.
  • The large hydrocarbon reserves can be used as a basis for either cooperation or rivalry between Russia and Iran.
  • Iran-Russia energy policies should not be seen in zero-sum terms.
  • More cooperation between two countries means enhancing global energy security.
  • Both countries are heavily dependent on oil revenues
  • Both countries are dangerously vulnerable to the fluctuations of oil prices.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

conclusions ii
Conclusions (II)
  • Iran could join to Shanghai Cooperation Organization
  • Two countries benefit from keeping prices at a certain level (roughly between $25-30).
  • OPEC’s policy of reduced production benefits Russia by keeping prices high and enabling Moscow to sell more of its oil.
  • Iran’s share of the world’s proven reserves (11.4%) higher than Russia (6%), encourages Russian companies to invest in Iran.
  • Iran’s Transportation network is complimentary of Russian system and can support more oil production in Russia.

Iran & Russia, Maleki

conclusions iii
Conclusions (III)
  • North–South Corridor should embrace new members
  • Partnership on gas industries between the first and second gas owners: Iran has huge underexplored and unused gas deposits. Russia has the technological skills and expertise to develop them.

Iran & Russia, Maleki