In a rare display of criticism, an Iranian parliamentarian has condemned Russia's policies towards Iran.
Moeinoddin (Moein al-Din) Saeedi accused Russia on Monday of endangering Iranian national interests more than any other country, while expressing concerns about the significant challenges Iran faces in the Caspian Sea due to Russia's dam construction projects.
"One of the most recent examples is the ongoing situation regarding the Caspian Sea's water entrance," he pointed out, referring to the declining water levels in the Caspian Sea, which endanger fragile ecosystems dependent on its waters.
Last month, the head of Iran's Department of Environment, Ali Salajegheh, attributed the crisis to the closure of vital access points to the Caspian Sea, with particular emphasis on the closure of the Volga River by Russia. Salajegheh voiced his apprehensions, stating, "Neighboring countries have closed off access to the Caspian Sea, especially the Volga River entrance. This has resulted in a significant drop in the sea's water levels, presenting a severe ecological challenge."
The Iranian official further detailed the severity of the issue, highlighting, "The Caspian Sea's water level has steadily decreased, with alarming statistics indicating a reduction of approximately one meter over the past 4-5 years. On average, the sea recedes by 20 centimeters annually."
It is a rare outburst against one of Iran's strongest allies, the two sanctioned countries working hand in hand on the likes of missile and drone production, and Iran providing Russia with drones used against civilian targets in Ukraine.