TEHRAN. (Iranart) – Russian historian Dmitry Shlapentokh’s book Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present has recently been published in Persian by the Islamic Revolution Document Center in Tehran.
Translated by Vahid Shokati Amaqani, the 2009 book traces the Russian elite’s view of Iran over the 20 years of post-Soviet history.
The author discusses that throughout most of the late Soviet and post-Soviet period, two major trends in the approach to Iran have dominated the Russian elite. The first emphasizes the strategic importance of Russia’s rapprochement with Iran and is mostly supported by Russian Imperial Nationalists. For these groups, an Iran-Russia rapprochement would not be a temporary use of Iran as a bargaining chip in dealing with the West, but a permanent alliance.
The second group believes that Russia should use Iran as a bargaining chip in dealing with the United States and as a useful trade partner, but not a permanent ally. Supporters of this view usually see Russia either as a self-contained country or as closed to the West, mostly Europe.
Shlapentokh is an associate professor of history at Indiana University in the U.S. He is the author of many articles and books related to the former USSR, including Russia Between East and West, Soviet Ideologies in the Period of Glasnost, The French Revolution in Russian Intellectual Life and The Role of Small States in the Post-Cold War Era: The Case of Belarus.
Source: Tehran Times