Speaking of an “anti-Western alliance of three authoritarian leaders”, the French newspaper Le Figaro refers to today’s summit meeting between Iran, Russia and Turkey in Tehran.
As the publication typically states, “the only thing missing to complete the team is the Chinese president”.
According to the newspaper, this meeting, which is taking place despite the significant differences between the three states, is “another step in strengthening an anti-Western pole, which began several years ago but crystallized with the war in Ukraine.”
The French newspaper notes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling to Tehran to get the go-ahead to launch a “special operation” against pro-Kurdish militant groups in northern Syria and is hoping for Putin’s ear.
He also mentions that Ankara wants to play a mediating role in the Ukrainian conflict, and in particular in terms of controlling the transfer of 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain, which would help prevent a global food crisis.
The agreement reached at the UN with the approval of Moscow and Kiev will be the subject of bilateral talks between Erdogan and Putin, the newspaper said, noting that a new meeting could follow on Wednesday or Thursday in Istanbul.
As for the Iranians, it is pointed out that Ebrahim Raisi has long wanted to buy fighter jets and anti-aircraft missile arrays from Russia and that in the case of Syria, they support Assad, as do the Russians.
“Today, they probably want to take advantage of the ‘distraction’ caused to Russia by the war in Ukraine to consolidate their influence in the region through Shiite militias,” the newspaper notes, adding that Iran and Russia will discuss oil and the ways in which they could circumvent the Western economic sanctions they both face.
It is also reported that according to the US State Department, Russia could acquire several hundred unmanned combat aircraft from Iran, which it lacks in the war against Ukraine.
As for the Russians, it is noted that the visit to Iran will be Putin’s second trip abroad since the start of the war in Ukraine and that it is a trip full of political messages.
According to the publication, “the Tehran summit shows the West that, despite sanctions, Putin is still able to build alliances and participate in international meetings.
It also reminds Ukraine’s American and European allies that much of the world supports the Kremlin’s fight against Ukraine, at least tacitly.
“It proves once again that, after the creation of the Astana group in 2017, it is Russia, Iran and Turkey who are pulling the strings in Syria, and no longer the West, which participates only on the sidelines.
“Finally, it shows all those who think that Russia is European and that its inclination is, in the long run, to move closer to the Western camp, that this is far from the case.”
The creation of an anti-Western front is, according to the French newspaper, the main demand of Tehran, noting that the fight against the West is a given in Moscow and Tehran, but more subdued in Ankara, which officially remains a staunch NATO ally.
Even if it does not reach concrete decisions, this meeting has already achieved several of its goals, the newspaper emphasizes, underlining that it proved that, despite the differences created by the war in Ukraine and despite Ankara’s bilingualism on the issue, it is still to have a united anti-western front of Russia, Iran and Turkey.