Photos: Ayatollah Khamenei meets Vladimir Putin

3 outcomes of Mr.Putin meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei

By Andrew Korybko*

The very productive outcome of President Putin’s visit to the Islamic Republic proved just how important Russia and Iran are to the emerging Multipolar World Order.

Russian President Putin was in Iran earlier this week to attend a trilateral summit with Azerbaijan, during which time the two Great Powers agreed to a strengthen multipolarity in three specific spheres.

The first and most pressingly important one has to do with security, both its state and non-state components. The Russian-Iranian partnership provides an excellent example for how two historic rivals can comprehensively cooperate with one another in a broad variety of fields aimed at improving their mutual trust and pragmatically advancing shared mutual objectives. In the present context, this takes the form of their joint anti-terrorist activities in Syria and the victory that these Great Powers will imminently celebrate over Daesh. Security cooperation undergirds the relationship between Russia and Iran, without which neither side would have developed the trust that they presently have for taking their relations to the next level.

About that, the second sphere of multipolarity that was strengthened as a result of President Putin’s visit is the integrational one, which just like its security counterpart, has two interconnected vectors. The most headline-grabbing event of the gathering was Rosneft’s announcement that it had agreed to a roadmap for investing upwards of $30 billion into Iran’s energy sector. This gargantuan commitment could manifest itself in two massive pipeline projects, the first of which could see a trilateral Russian-Azeri-Iranian line open up for supplying Russian resources to the Islamic Republic, while the second one might end up being a Russian-built Iranian-Pakistani-Indian pipeline. This North-South pipeline would strengthen the trilateral partnership between these multipolar states and complement both Great Powers’ recent rapprochements with their shared Azerbaijani neighbor, while the East-West one would promote interstate stability in the transregional Mideast-South Asian space. As for the second vector of integration, the three parties committed to work more closely together on the North-South Transport Corridor between themselves and India, which if successfully constructed, would also bring balance to the region.

The third and final categorical outcome of the summit was that it improved the prospects of de-dollarization, particularly when seen in light of Ayatollah Khamenei's suggestion that Iran and Russia conduct more of their bilateral trade in national currencies. This will be crucial in giving the global multipolar trend the boost to break free from the dollar’s dominance, and there’s also a chance that Iran might even consider using the speculated “petroyuan” in its future energy transactions as well. While not brought up in the context of the summit, it’s impossible to escape the widespread talk that China is considering setting up a futures market for oil by the end of the year in an ambitious bid to position its currency as a direct rival to the petrodollar, which could have profound implications if actually happens, especially if Iran – as could be expected – decides to support its Chinese partner in this regard.


Overall, the three interrelated outcomes of the Mr. Putin-Ayatollah Khamnei summit in Tehran each strengthen the prospects of the emerging Multipolar World Order in their respects. The aforementioned security component has been pivotal in setting the basis for all-around pragmatic cooperation between these two Great Powers in a variety of other fields, with the two most prominent ones being integration and financial cooperation. The very real chance that Russian-Azeri-Iranian and Iranian-Pakistani-Indian pipelines will eventually be built represents the structural linking of the Eurasian supercontinent, something which is integral to reinforcing stability and creating a complex strategic interdependency to sustain it. The real-sector economic dividends will be seen through the planned North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC), and potentially even its twinning with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) whose Gwadar terminal port is within close proximity to the NSTC’s counterpart of Chabahar, thus presenting an exciting possibility of a grand integrational corridor if Russia’s geopolitical balancing act is successful in bringing all relevant stakeholders on board.

It’s not hyperbole to state that this summit was indeed historical because of the significant promise that it holds for strengthening multipolarity, and that Russia and Iran have shown the world how fruitful pragmatic Great Power partnership can be in terms of reshaping the international order. Observers might not have expected the summit would be so successful, but in hindsight, all of the hints were there that Russia and Iran were preparing to stand solidly together in light of the US’ threats against both of them. As is now known, this visit yielded very impressive results which could go far beyond these two states’ bilateral relations with time and contribute to making the Multipolar World Order a more stable and sustainable venture.

 *Andrew Korybko is Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China's One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. 


  • Iran
  • Russia
  • Tehran
  • Vladimir Putin