…by Nahed al Husaini, VT Damascus with Sources in Russia and Iran
According to senior sources close to the Iranian regime, Russia plans to use Iranian ports in Bushehr and Chekhbehar as advanced military bases for warships and nuclear submarines.
Warships will be guarded by special forces soldiers under the guise of “military advisers.” In addition, Russia intends to use the air base near Bushehr as a base airport for 35 Su-57 fighters.
The next round of joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Hormuz will mark the beginning of military expansion in Iran, while Iran will allow Russian ships to use facilities in Bushehr and Chekhbehar. Depending on the domestic and international reaction to these events, these ships and special forces will remain in place, and their number will be increased over the next 50 years.
This is a gradual build-up of Russian potential in the country – a proven tactic of the Kremlin. In exchange for economic and political support, Moscow gets the opportunity to effectively use this country as one large multi-level military base.
Why did Iran agree to a deal?
Considering Iran’s failures in relations with Russia – primarily in relation to oil and gas rights in the Caspian Sea – Iran’s decision to conclude the last deal may seem surprising to many, but it is due to two main reasons. First, Iran has no one else to choose as its geopolitical ally in its current struggle against sanctions and political marginalization.
There are only five permanent members in the UN Security Council: the USA (the main initiator of sanctions against Iran), the UK and France (both countries adhere to the US position), China (whose support depends on its own plans) and Russia.
“If you don’t have the opportunity to buy food at the supermarket ten miles from here, you just have to shop at the store around the corner, despite the quality,” said one of Iranian senior OilPrice.com sources last week.
The second reason is that President Rouhani and his moderate pro-Western supporters have lost the confidence of those who voted for him. He failed to ensure economic prosperity, which, as he promised, would be the result of a nuclear deal agreed in 2015 and entered into force on January 16, 2016.
“It’s about [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, who supported Rouhani for the first few years, but now he has no choice but to agree with the recommendations of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), and this Russian deal plays a central role here.” , – noted a senior source in Iran.
Why is the IRGC supporting this deal with Russia, given that its leaders are skilled people and seasoned officers, well aware of the problems this deal could lead to on a global scale?
“Firstly, they [IRGC] sincerely believe that the financial deal agreed with Russia last year is the only way to help Iran avoid the revolutionary scenario, and secondly, some of the most senior figures in the IRGC will also win in cash attitude from cooperation with Russia, ”a source in Iran said.
The deal was based on a 22-point memorandum of understanding signed by Iran’s Deputy Minister of Oil Amir Hossein Zamaniniya and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Energy Kirill Molodtsov, at the same time it was about closer cooperation between the two countries in all areas.
Essence of the question
In particular, Russia will allocate $ 50 billion a year to the oil and gas sector for at least five years to complete priority oil and gas projects in accordance with Western standards, which are estimated at about $ 250 billion. Over the next five years, Iran will be provided another $ 250 billion to develop other sectors of the economy.
In exchange for this, Iran should give preference to Russian companies in all future oil and gas exploration and development deals, in addition to the seven already agreed projects. In addition, and this is crucial for military plans, Iran also agreed to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system, allowed Russia to increase the number of listening posts in Iran and double the number of senior IRGC officers who will be trained in Moscow to 120-130 people .
According to the terms of the agreement, Iran cannot impose fines against any Russian development company in case of slow progress at any field over the next 10 years. However, he cannot re-include these deposits in new tenders, even in the absence of any results. Within 10 years, Russia will be able to decide how much oil to extract at each field, when and to whom to sell it, and for what amount.
“In addition, there was one more clause in the contracts: Russia will be able to buy oil and gas, which are produced at fields developed by its companies, for 55-72% of the market value over the next 10 years,” Iran said.
Moreover, Russia recently – despite the fact that it prevented Iran from gaining, possibly, its rightful share in the Caspian Sea – has proposed to extract oil and gas from the Iranian sector in the Caspian and sell them on international markets.
Thus, Russia not only has unhindered access to all oil and gas reserves on land, on the shelf and in the Caspian sector of Iran to sell them at its discretion, but also intends to use two strategic ports and adjacent areas in the most significant oil and gas point in the world, which allow her to actually control the Strait of Hormuz.
Of course, Hormuz remains the most important oil corridor in the world – and the key route from the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia through the Indian Ocean. At the same time, about 35% of all sea oil transportation and about a third of the global supply of liquefied natural gas pass through the strait.
“Bushir and Chekhbekhar will probably allow Russia to take a dominant position in the Persian Gulf and in the Indian Ocean, which will make it easier for it to conduct joint naval operations with China in the sphere of US influence in the East, including near Japan and South Korea and the Philippines, ”said a London analyst.
In his opinion, the fact that Russia also intends to use these ports not only for warships, but also for nuclear submarines during the period of ice formation in its more northern ports, will help Russia strengthen its position with regard to the West as a whole and the United States in particular.
Nahed is VT Damascus Bureau Chief. She is a member of the American Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (USA) and serves as Assistant Director of the Arab-American and Muslim Congress (Detroit, USA). She has a Diploma in English Literature from Damascus University (1987).
She’s also been a reporter for Turkish newspaper Aydinlik, Special Coordinator for Arab-Armenian International Law Assembly, Correspondent for Qatari News Agency, Al Ayam news Paper in Bahrain, Al Liwaa in Lebanon, Correspondent for Petra News Agency in Jordan, correspondent for the Associated Press in USA, and worked as a freelance journalist for CBS, ABS and CNN in Syria. She is fluent in both English and Arabic.
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I don’t believe it. Doesn’t sound like Iran.
(long comment, I have to put it in parts – Part 1 of 2)
From the way name of Chahbahar is pronounced, the source should be a Russian and not-so-friendly towards Iran based on using the word “regime” in the first line.
It won’t happen as the article puts, not in a thousand years and not with the Iranian pride. What the article suggests, will be considered the highest form of treason by Iranians, Iran will not give base on it’s soil or water to any foreign country, even in the weakest and darkest times in it’s history. Never ever. Remember, even when Shah ruled, a known and proven puppet installed twice by the British and Americans, he did not have the courage to do so, even if in practice Americans secretly had a base within a few Iranian airbases. Then there was no satellite and internet or the degree of information flow we now have and SAVAK controlled the information.
Currently president Rohani and FM Zarif are being accused (by some) of treason to give some rights away, like higher percentages of Uranium (not it’s entirety) enriching in exchange for economical benefits of sanctions removal (which didn’t happen), imagine what will happen if they give soil or these rights to a foreign government.
(Part 2 of 2)
Just for your info, regarding the Caspian sea regime for oil and gas extraction and demarcations, it’s in installment because no Iranian official dares to sign and agree with something which logic states, a %16-%20 share for Iran based on the shoreline length or number of countries sharing the lake, because it’s in the Iranians psyche that Iran should have %50, because up to 28 years ago it was shared between Iran and USSR.
Any Iranian politician who signs such contract as in the article or even mentions such thing will ruin his or her career immediately and buys shame for himself and his children as a traitor. Iranians never forget these things.
For Russian aerospace force operation in Syria, Iran didn’t give an airbase. They let Russians use an Iranian airbase and each time they gave a separate permit, case by case. There is talks about a joint Iranian-Russian exercise in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and the India ocean as well as Caspian sea and the Russian vessels need to use a base/port, it will be a case just like airbases, just for duration of exercise and nothing more. At the most, there may be an announcement to declare a sisterhood between an Iranian port city and a Russian one, like a dozen or more such sisterhoods between Iranian cities and that of other countries.
I too, would like to know the source and his credentials, but I doubt if it’s going to happen.
PS., added a few hours after the first comment.
Now I’m certain it’s just a brazen lie, a shameless one. A sort of lie that can only be created in the mind of someone like John Bolton and his colleagues. Something along with Iraq’s WMD to create a justification for an increase in military hardware in the Arab petty monarchs of the southern shores in the Persian Gulf.
Oil price already published this “exclusive” information on Aug. 4th, obtained from a source “very close” to the Iranian “regime”. Look for yourself. The only difference is that it is written by someone named “Simon Watkins”.
If US were a smart country they would have made Venezuela into their allies, not enemies, and they would seek a genuine realpolitik and non-interventionist sanction chaos doorway to do it. Because the oil rich allies in this world are increasingly becoming hard to get by for Angloamericans.
Smart move by Iran, at natural order of things. US have indeed one independent foreign policy goal which is called “get there before the Russians do”. How long before other Gulf countries take notion of this, and how long before Asian giants realize this. Europeans are a lost cause.
Would it be possible for you to share with us the source(s) you have quoted in your piece or shall we just suffice to the “senior source”. Any verifiable proof of the alleged contract between the two nations will make the premises of the article a lot more reliable. BTW, it’s chahbahar (Springs Well) and not Chekhbekhar. Why do I smell a rat!
the source is a senior intelligence official with a major government with thousands of nuclear weapons
Dear Professor Nahed Al-Husaini-
Thank You for a very well researched and very informative article. The World and Humanity need more brilliant Journalist like yourself.
Hopefully You will continue to write articles for VT “The fastest growing website in the World”!
Wow this will stir the pot a bit in regards with the USA/Israel agenda in the ME and it’s constant pressure on Iran. Iran now has a major power inside it’s territories that will hopefully deter any planned invasion in the near future for now. All this for part of Iran’s oil and gas reserves. But this will boost Iran’s economy by the upgrades to its gas and oil extraction infrastructure, which will require workers, good for Iran. Also it opens up access to markets to sell its oil and gas through Russia. I’m sure Russia will be able to route Iranian oil and gas sales on behalf of iran through its entities therefore bypassing sanctions. Hopefully this will all help stabilize Iran’s economy and bring it back up to some sort of decent level. But without ALL the sanctions removed Iran can never achieve first world economic status.
This sure throws a wrench into Bibi’s “Greater Israel Project” also known as “Total Conquest of the Middle East, Europe and America”
with all due respect, the noted name of the port Chekhbehar in south west of Iran is referred to as Chah-Bahar
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