Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will strengthen cooperation with Iran in countering terrorist threats. "I would like to reiterate the willingness of the Russian side to further expand cooperation with our Iranian partners in the fight against terrorism," said Putin in a telegram to Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi. It was published on the Kremlin's website on Thursday.
The United States had recently expressed fears that Russia could help Iran to put down the mass protests in the country. "We know they may be considering some sort of support for Iran's ability to take action against protesters, and unfortunately Russia has experience in that," said the National Security Council's communications director John Kirby. When asked by journalists, it remained unclear whether this alleged support had already begun or not.
The protests in Iran, triggered by the death of a young woman after she was arrested by the vice squad, have been shaking the country for weeks. The leadership in Tehran calls these demonstrators terrorists.