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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

Iran and russia neighbors without borders

Countries with Oil Reserves >1 bill. t and Strategic Ellipse

Iran & Russia, 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

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