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In my entire life, I’ve never seen the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey pictured together in the same place at the same time.

But there they were: Russia’s President Putin, Iran’s secular leader President Raisi and Turkey’s President Erdoğan, all at a meeting of menacing allies, earlier this week in Tehran, Iran (formerly the ancient land of Persia).

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Putin has a nominal Russian Orthodox background, while Raisi and Erdoğan are Islamic. Putin seems to want to restore Russia’s expansive empire of Peter the Great, while the two followers of Mohammed want to reestablish an Islamic Caliphate, like the 400-year Ottoman Empire. All three seek access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and are antagonists of the modern nation of Israel, for historical and religious reasons.

With Putin’s five-month-old, unprovoked invasion of sovereign Ukraine and his clear aspirations for rebuilding the Russian “homeland,” it is not surprising that one of Russia’s political parties is reportedly promoting an upgrade in titles for Mr. Putin. They suggest changing from “president” to an archaic, authoritarian term for ruler, that of “pravitel.”

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