Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in Tehran for talks with their Iranian hosts, including supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the country’s president, Ebrahim Raissi.
The official purpose of the visit is to discuss the situation in Syria. But talks about expected to also address Ukraine’s grain crisis.
Since 2017, the three countries have sponsored meetings under the Astana platform aimed at arriving at a settlement to end the war in Syria.
Experts say Russian and Iranian interests have grown increasingly aligned in recent years.
Among the most groundbreaking dimensions of the visit are reports highlighted by US and Iranian officials that Tehran is selling combat drones to Russia. White House official Jake Sullivan alleged that Russian military officials had visited an Iranian military base twice this month to observe the drones in action.
Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, reportedly denied that Tehran was preparing to provide Russia with weapons.
President Putin’s visit to Tehran will be only his second trip abroad since Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine, which started a war that continues to rage. It will be the Russian leader’s first visit to Iran since 2017.
Erdogan’s presence highlights a Turkish foreign policy that has demonstrated maximum diplomatic flexibility.