Two-thirds of the oil reserves and 41% of natural gas in the world are located in the Middle East.
The Middle East serves as a conduit between Central Asia on one hand and Europe and Africa on the other. The most important trade in the world – land, sea and air – passes through there. Iran is at the center of all this. This article describes how the ties between Iran and Russia go back far longer than just the past 20 years. They span centuries!