Putin sought to find some diplomatic maneuvering room during King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud's visit to Moscow last week, but there is little the king can do facilitate an exit ramp for Putin's troubles in Iraq. And Putin cannot jeopardize his relations with Iran to win the king's favor, given Russia's and Iran's interests in Syria. "The Saudis' concerns about Iran's regional meddling and support for Shiite militias such as the Houthis and Hezbollah will find little resonance in Russia," Bruce Riedel wrote. "Tehran enjoys fairly good relations with Moscow and the two cooperate closely, leaving Riyadh without leverage. In Iraq, the king has engaged this year in new and innovative ways and can also look for methods to cooperate with Russia; nevertheless, Iran retains the upper hand in Baghdad."