The Pending Nuclear Deal with Iran Is a Gift to Vladimir Putin

March 22, 2022 | Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer
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Even as Washington ratchets up its sanctions on Russia, it is poised to reach an agreement—negotiated through Russian intermediaries—to remove sanctions on Moscow’s clients in Tehran. Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer point to the dangers of the seemingly imminent nuclear deal with Iran:

The American concession that enables Russia to conduct nuclear work with the Islamic Republic, even as Putin threatens to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, is foreign-policy malpractice. It’s hard to argue otherwise. Still, some might say that at least the White House held firm and denied the Russian request for a sanctions “white channel” to trade with Iran, [thus avoiding the sanctions on itself]. Yes, that was technically taken off the table. However, Russia will effectively get a white channel anyway because the Biden administration would never sanction Iranian entities transacting with Russian businesses once a deal is signed.

Indeed, the administration has already surrendered to Iranian nuclear blackmail. Besides, it’s also possible that the U.S. will provide secret guarantees to Iran or even Russia in side letters. Washington struck secret side deals in the last agreement that were never made public. Nothing prevents the White House from doing so again.

Not to be left out, China reportedly is also asking for a special carve-out for Chinese entities previously sanctioned. Russia recently approached Beijing to help finance the war effort in Ukraine. Should Joe Biden agree to any of this, it would be a political collapse of epic proportions.

The terms of the new Iran agreement were brokered by Russia. Putin only agreed to it because it would help to undermine the U.S.-led world order. Tehran would never assent to a deal without Putin’s consent because the regime knows it will need Russia in the future.

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