Relations between Iran and Russia, the two historic rivals have long been viewed as failing to reach their potential, but Irans tilt toward Moscow during the last couple of years has shifted the dynamic. Indeed, the two Eurasian powers have finally managed to find common ground on critical global and regional issues.
From a historical perspective, the Iran-Russia convergence is especially significant. At no point since the late 16th century, when Muscovy and Safavid Iran shared opposition to the expanding Ottoman Empire, have the two Eurasian states had such close ties. This time, the emerging collaboration is based on common opposition to the US-led Western domination, as well as a mutual need to circumvent the illegal sanctions imposed on them.
That said, Iran actually pursues a highly pragmatic policy toward Russia. For Tehran, Russia is a valuable partner in its larger effort to build a more versatile foreign policy that includes strengthening ties with Eurasian neighbors and the recent rapprochement with Saudi Arabia in a deal mediated by China. For Tehran, closer ties with Russia are seen as ushering in a truly multipolar Eurasian order with increased maneuverability and a bigger pool of foreign policy choices.