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Russia, Iran, and the Conflict in Chechnya

Author(s): Dr. Martin Malek

Journal: Caucasian Review of International Affairs
ISSN 1865-6773

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Iran | Russia | Chechnya | Islam | separatis | Organisation of the Islamic Conference | terrorism

The reactions in the Islamic world to Russia’s wars in Chechnya from 1994 to present were by far not as strong as the ‘Islamic solidarity’ claim might have suggested. Theocratic Iran was no exception. Sceptical remarks from some Iranian officials were immediately softened by reservations: Chechnya is an “internal affair” of Russia whose territorial integrity Iran would certainly continue to respect. At the beginning of the second war in Chechnya in 1999, Iran was chairing the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and made ostensible efforts to keep its role as a means of criticising Moscow as small as possible. Russian President Vladimir Putin showed himself not to be very familiar with matters concerning international or only Russian Islam. On many occasions he made patronizing comments about Islam, without triggering a sharp reaction from Iran or other Islamic states and organisations.
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