News Brief: Shia News, an Iranian website, commented that the sudden appearance of Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, in the streets of Aleppo after it was recaptured by Iran-led forces generated anger among the top Russian military brass. By quoting an American media outlet, the Iranian site said that “the victory march by General Suleimani in the streets of Aleppo embarrassed Russia.” The outlet, however, continued that “the Russians are unlikely to pursue the matter,” as they need Iran’s help in the Iraqi and Syrian wars.
Referencing to foreign, and particularly Western, media reports is oftentimes the only way Iranian media can mention sensitive topics involving Iran’s geopolitical agenda. The relationship between Iran and Russia is arguably today one of the most sensitive foreign policy questions in Tehran and specifically in the context of the Syrian war. The appearance of such articles does, however, illustrate the level of mistrust and competition that continues to exist between Tehran and Moscow.
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