By Rakesh Raman
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Iran on Monday – Nov. 23 – to take part in the third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
According to the Kremlin, Putin will hold talks in Teheran with Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.
“Bilateral contacts with some of the foreign leaders taking part in the summit are also possible,” according to a statement issued by the Kremlin.
Putin’s visit to Iran – first since 2007 – holds added significance in view of the increasing intensity of conflict in Syria.
Last month, the Syria-based Islamic State terrorists had bombed down a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in retaliation to Russian airstrikes in Syria. And later – on Nov. 13 – ISIS attacked Paris killing over 130 people.
As ISIS has demonstrated that it can strike at will in any part of the world, the top nations of the world are worried and uniting to fight ISIS. Russia is more concerned because ISIS has renewed its warning to Russia, indicating that it will continue to target Russia.
In the latest issue of its propaganda magazine, Dabiq, ISIS says, “The Islamic State will continue to strike Russia until Sharī’ah returns to all the lands of the Muslims usurped by the crusader Russians and until Russia pays the jizyah in humiliation.”
The ISIS’ threats are supposed to be among the main reasons that Putin has planned to visit Iran, which is among its closet allies along with China. Later on Thursday, Putin is scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Russia, as both France and Russia are the new targets for ISIS.
Earlier, in response to the airstrikes on Iraq and Syria led by America, the Islamic State militants had similarly threatened U.S. and its allies.
As ISIS is perceived to be the common enemy of France, Russia, and the U.S.A. even the U.S. has expressed its willingness to work with Russia in order to defeat ISIS.
However, it is not going to be a walk in the park for all these top nations to defeat ISIS, as the fight with ISIS cannot be in the form of a conventional war. They need to deal with ISIS terror attacks in their own countries and also attack the militants in their hideouts in Syria. It won’t be easy.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council has warned that the terrorist group intends to mount further attacks like those that devastated Paris and Beirut.
Putin is apprehensive of such attacks about which the Security Council has warned. As he is seemingly disturbed about the bombing down of the Russian passenger plane, Putin is preparing for a full-fledged war against ISIS terrorists in Syria.
Of late, Putin was seen in a newly built high-tech war room in Russia instructing the defense commanders to join hands with France and Russian allies to defeat ISIS.
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Photo courtesy: Kremlin