In a scene that appears more suited for The Godfather than foreign policy, Russia has suddenly emerged as the puppet master behind the Iran nuclear deal, using it to profit, and using Iran as a nuclear blackmail piggy bank against the US and the West.
For years we were told the Iran deal was about “a deal or war.” And we were told by a well-crafted Iran lobby in the West that a “deal” with Iran was the only way to “cut Iran off from all pathways to a nuclear weapon.”
In fact, this was all messaging and fabrication. The deal does not cut off Iran from a nuclear weapon, it merely postpones it, and then rewards Iran for continuing to blackmail the world with its nuclear policy. No other country in the world enriches uranium to receive concessions, only Iran.
Nevertheless, the US administration wants to re-enter a deal with Iran that won’t last more than another few years, or a decade at most. Toward that end, the Biden administration coordinated with Russia. Moscow works closely with Tehran. That means Moscow was playing “good cop” during negotiations of the deal, and the US appears to have outsourced at least some of its demands via Moscow. This bizarre fact was revealed time and again by Russia’s chief envoy, Mikhail Ulyanov, who bragged about meeting the US envoy.
As the US was coordinating with Russia, Moscow was planning the invasion of Ukraine. That gave Russia a golden hand to play at the negotiating table. Once it invaded Ukraine, Moscow could present itself as holding the deal discussions hostage, by claiming that the US must agree to Russia’s terms in order to get to a new deal. Washington, meanwhile, was close to giving away the store anyway, but Russia is now trying to drive up the price.
The “Iran deal” has now become the “Russia deal,” as Russia swoops in at the end to reveal that it controls the talks, and Iran has been played by Moscow. Iran has discovered too late that Russia could sabotage the deal so that Russia can escape sanctions.
Iran is nonplussed to find that Russia is now holding Iran hostage. After all, Iran is the regime that likes to hold hostages. It’s the regime that is used to playing the West by using the “good cop” strategy of charlatan Javad Zarif against the “bad cop” of the IRGC. However, Zarif is gone, Iran is running into the arms of China, and Russia is now using Iran. Those who pushed the Iran deal are now concerned about Russia’s interference. This is the interference they enabled by always trusting Moscow.
Russia is now playing the role of mafia boss Emilio Barzini in The Godfather, revealed as being behind the whole scheme of the Iran deal in the first place. Russia wants all its trade with Iran exempt from the sanctions it is under for invading Ukraine. Russia wants to milk the Iran deal, and use Iran as a nuclear blackmail shield against the US.