The war in Ukraine is helping one country achieve its foreign policy and national security objectives, but it’s neither Russia nor Ukraine.

It’s Iran.

Iran is among Russia’s most vocal supporters in the war. This has little to do with Ukraine and everything to do with Iran’s long-term strategy vis-à-vis the United States.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine passes six months and continues eroding Russia’s manpower, military stores, economy and diplomatic connections, leader Vladimir Putin has opted for an unlikely but necessary Iranian lifeline to salvage victory in Ukraine and also in Syria where, since 2015, Russian soldiers have been fighting to keep Bashar al-Assad’s government in power.