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It appears that the combination of personal high-level diplomacy and Israeli insistence on responding to Iranian and Hezbollah strikes with overwhelming force has been met with understanding in the Kremlin. The logic of the Russian position appears quite clear: the Kremlin was not at all disturbed by Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria—as long as there were no Russian casualties. Russian and Israeli interests in this instance were consistent with each other. Israel’s interest in securing its border with Syria would be served far better by the Syrian army than by Iranian fighters and Hezbollah deployed there.23 That would also serve Russia’s interest in enhancing its influence in postconflict Syria and minimizing Iran’s influence.

https://carnegieendowment.org/files/WP-Rumer-MiddleEast.pdf

Did Russia's accommodating position on Israel's military action against Iranian and Hezbollah attacks hurt relations between Russia and Iran? It seems that Russia tried to balance its relation with Israel and its relation with Iran at the same time, and thus decided to tolerate Israel military action against Iran and Hezbollah. Did such decision hurt the relation Russia had with Iran?

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    This is one of those Qs that's not easy to answer because we don't know what the alternative would look like. I.e. how much better their relations would be in the alternative that they agreed on everything. Opportunity cost and all that. But it's true that Iran and Russia are in a certain competition in extending their spheres of influence in Syria. Commented Mar 15 at 18:52
  • There's a useful backstory here how cooperation in Syria improved Russia-Iran relations. Commented Mar 15 at 18:55
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    There are three fundamental shared interests between Russia and Iran in Syria, which set a sortof lower bound on any disagreement. 1. Stopping any overland pipeline routes from Saudi Arabia to either the Mediterranean or toward Turkey; 2. getting the US out of Syria and Iraq as soon as they can. 3. together with China, breaking the US sanctions regime... On Israel, it has clearly been a balancing act. Though Russia, like China, did become more vocal in support of Palestine in the current episode. Perhaps for reasons of soft power globally.
    – Pete W
    Commented Mar 15 at 19:01
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    How are we supposed to know, with such opaque actors, how their negotiations go? Russia has a vested interest not to upset Israel enough to have Israel supply arms to Ukraine (tho internal demand makes that less likely to happy since 10/7) and surely Russia can articulate that to Iran. And this is not a dialog between equals, no matter how far down Russia is drooping. Commented Mar 15 at 20:14
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    I’m voting to reopen this because regardless of the amount of information available this question is still asking for facts Commented Mar 19 at 12:20

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