Why do many Muslims consider Russia their friend?

Many in Iran consider Russia their friend against USA and Israel. How can they forget Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan and Russian war crimes in Chechnia?


Because the US forced the Palestinians to give their homeland to their ancestral enemy, the Jews?

No, I don’t want to hear about the origin of Israel.

And Iranians are largely Persian, not Arab - and are never terribly upset that Sunnis get killed?

But Afghans are Iran’s neighbors. Soviets destroyed many Afghan villages along with population – Afghanistan lost about million civillians.

And Russia is happy to sell military equipment to whomever can pay for it?

In Iran? Realpolitik. The Cold War may be over, but Russia to some extent still postures itself ( in a lower key ) as an opponent of U.S. world dominance. As such it has quietly blocked some U.S. anti-Iranian measures in the United Nations. Moreover Iranian diplomatic and economic isolation from the West gives Russia ( and China ) a captive market for their own exports.

Also the Iranian government doesn’t particularly like Sunni jihadis anymore than Russia does.

That said, I sincerely doubt Russia is much beloved. Rather its an “alliance” of convenience.

Do you really not understand that Persians, who have a different religion, language, and culture don’t give a rat’s ass about Afghanistan?

Why do Israelis like the US? It invaded Iraq and killed and tortured, and, ask a Vietnamese… or a black American, or…

You are a long, long ways from being ready to discuss world history 101, let alone the conflicts in the mideast…

I do not consider Russia my “friend”. Russia is a large and powerful country in our region, with whom I think it’s in Pakistan’s interests to have an improved relationship with, moving on from the Cold War. I don’t think anyone in the foreign office or the country as a whole thinks as a “friend”. Nations do not have friends, just interests.

Iranians do give a big deal about Afghanistan. It is a neighbour and more importantly it is a place of great Iranian cultural influence.

Easy, now. Iran does give a rat’s ass about what happened in Afghanistan. After all they had to take in ~two million refugees during the war and were contributors to certain elements ( mostly Tajik ) of the anti-Soviet mujahideen. They thoroughly despised the Taliban and gave aid to the Northern Alliance as well.

And ~50% of Afghanistan’s population do share the same language as Iranians - Afghan Dari is generally mutually intelligible with Iranian Farsi. Maybe 10-15% share the same sect of Islam.

The issue again is realpolitik. The United States shares just about fuck-all with Saudi Arabia culturally and objectively the two would have good reasons to loath one another, but they are still important strategic partners. The Iranian-Russian axis is actually a lot looser than that ( Russia has joined in some of the international condemnation of Iran ), but the principle is the same.

Actually Iran even had plans to invade Afghanistan before 9-11 struck in favour of their Shia bretheren who were being persecuted by the Taliban.


Well, like the others have hinted at, it’s not a matter of Muslims but of so-called rogue states. Russia isn’t a particular friend to, say, Indonesia, but it is one of the few countries with mostly normal relations with North Korea. Russia and China are generally much more conservative with regards to handing out sanctions and embargoes to punish poor behavior by governments. Just because Russia is opposed to sanctions against Iran, that doesn’t mean that they approve of the Iranian nuclear program or are particularly friendly with the Iranian government-- they simply disagree with the use of sanctions in that particular situation.

This thread reminded me of GB Shaw’s “Major Barbara”-Andre Undershaft’s speech about his trade “This be the faith of an arms maker-to sell good weapons to all those who pay cash”.
Russia needs sales to fund its armaments industry-and Iran, Syria, etc. have the cash.

The rights or wrongs of the founding of the state of Israel notwithstanding, Jews and Muslims were not ancestral enemies. (I am not saying there was never any friction between the two religions, but Jews lived and practiced their religion freely in Muslim controlled countries for many centuries, and, historically, there was much more conflict between Jews and Christians and between Christians and Muslims than between Muslims and Jews.). The enmity that now exists between Muslims and Jews is almost entirely a consequence of the founding of the state of Israel and the way it happened. It did not predate it.

You are probably right, however, that this enmity, and the very strong support that the US shows for Israel, may have something to do with why some Muslims would prefer to friends with Russia than the USA.


On an unrelated point, a quite large proportion of the Russian population is Muslim: somewhere between 7 and 20 million people, according to Wikipedia, so between about 5% and 14%. Although this is far from being a majority, it is enough to mean that Russia is to a significant degree a Muslim country itself, and Russian Muslims will surely have far more influence on government policy and attitudes than American Muslims do on US government policy and the attitudes of the American people as a whole (or even than Western European Muslims have on their countries’ governments).

Saying that Iran speaks for Muslims from Burkina Faso to Malaysia is pretty bizarre. I think you were talking about a geopolitical, not religious, affinity.

Actually, Russian support for certain Arab states predates American support for Israel by over a decade. When Nasser seized control of Egypt and nationalized the Suez Canal, he drove the UK and France toward Israel; to counter that, he started developing close relations with the U.S.S.R. The U.S. remained largely neutral until the 1960’s, and only started openly supporting Israel toward the end of that decade.

In fact, it was only in the mid-50’s that Israel decided to side with the the West rather than with the Soviet Block. After all, Israel was strongly socialist in the 1950’s, most of its political class was Russian-born, and as far as Israelis were concerned, Russia beat Hitler. It was when Stalin’s atrocities came to light that Israel started looking westward.

Like any real-world scenario, it boils down to economics. The USA has severed all but the most tenuous diplomatic ties with Iran, we call them our enemy both religiously and politically, and we covertly assist Israel in their cyberterror campaign against Iran’s domestic nuclear program (c’mon, you know it’s true.) Russia, on the other hand, has open trade with their neighbor, including the Russia/Iran/Qatar Alliance which controls 60% of the world’s natural gas supply.

It’s a similar scenario to USA/China – despite our deep divisions on social issues, esp. human rights, our vast open trade policies practically make us allies, if only in the most superficial sense. (Thanks, Nixon!)

Are we talking about the Iranian government or the people? From what I understand, there’s a significant pro-Western culture streak in the population even if the government doesn’t reflect it.

If you plan to be at constant loggerheads with “The Great Satan” you need an ally with two things you will likely never have yourself; a veto in the UN and plausible nuclear deterrence. The list of allies that can provide both of those things can be counted on one hand (even if you’re missing a finger.)