Foreign Ministers from Iran, Russia, and Syria, from left, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Sergey Lavrov, and Walid al-Moallem attend their meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Russia's recent call for foreign forces to leave Syria was seen as a possible turning point in its tricky alliance with Iran, though analysts say their partnership still has a long way to run.Putin's envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, later said that this included Iran. "The Russians are playing a delicate balancing act between different regional allies," said Julien Barnes-Dacey of the European Council on Foreign Relations.He said that the Russian statement about removing foreign forces from the country was a message to Iran that there would be limits to its influence in Syria. Iran is deeply entrenched militarily in Syria, and wary of Russia trying to edge it out of the country and reap all the spoils of reconstruction.For analysts in Iran, claims of divisions are overblown, and they insist Iran has no interest in maintaining a long-term presence in Syria.
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