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A budding courtship between Russia and Iran is an unwelcome development for the West that the United States will watch with concern, but it falls well short of a geopolitical game changer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a rare foreign trip on Tuesday — his first outside the former Soviet Union since he launched the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 — to hold talks in Tehran with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi, as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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