Russia Assists Biden With Iran Deal

Since Russia invaded Ukraine roughly two weeks ago, the West has been doing everything it can to make Putin an international pariah. The United States has stopped importing Russia’s oil, both sides of the aisle have come out against the invasion, and the international banking system has isolated Putin’s allies — especially the oligarchs.

It is a sensible question to ask what role Russia plays in the new push for an Iran nuclear deal, given that they have been involved in mediating between the parties in the past.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to field that exact question in a recent appearance before the press corps.

Everyone agrees that it is best for the U.S. and the world Iran to be deterred from acquiring nuclear weapons. What is up for debate is Russia’s position on the matter.

A nuclear armed Iran destabilizes the Middle East. Such instability would further Russia’s and China’s interests in a recalibrated middle east that excludes the United States.

President Biden is desperate to revive the Iran deal that the Trump administration unilaterally terminated. Russia realizes this, and is leveraging that position for guarantees that the United States will not keep Russia from dealing with Iran, either as part of the deal or as part of a larger push for increased sanctions. Unless Putin’s demands are met, Russian diplomats are threatening to use their influence to kill the deal.

Every negotiator will tell you that you need to be willing to walk away from a deal to preserve a measure of leverage in negotiations. Everyone knows that the Biden Administration is willing to follow in Obama’s footsteps by not only funding the Mullahs with a large infusion of cash, but by taking them at their word when they promise not develop offensive nuclear capabilities. This is a dubious position, given Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

There is not a unified message coming from the administration. One day Biden is calling Putin a war criminal; the next day, Psaki is saying he is vital to U.S. interests in the region.

One thing is for certain, Iran is happy with the new administration and its renewed interest in a deal.