Putin Gets Leverage on Biden

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia has received “formal assurances” from the U.S. that sanctions placed on Moscow will not disrupt commerce with Iran.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Russia’s demands were “irrelevant” to the nuclear deal, but today he claims they are contained in the agreement’s wording.

A senior U.S. official said that the United States would not discuss waivers from Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia in order to maintain the Iran nuclear deal. Such promises might undermine the West’s severe array of sanctions levied against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. If Russia does not back down from its demands, Washington will begin looking for alternatives to the pact during the next week.

The action comes in the aftermath of an Iranian missile strike on Iraq, which forced American forces to flee for safety.

Russia has been seeking sanctions relief for its continued work at Iran’s lone nuclear energy project, Bushehr. The US has dismissed Russian demands for guarantees as “irrelevant,” claiming they are “not in any way tied together.”

Russia has fully included Iran into its sanctions-evasion operations. Both countries stand to benefit handsomely as Biden foolishly removes sanctions on Iran while refusing to impose penalties on Russia. But that’s exactly what Biden did: he allowed Russia to use the discussions to gain assurances unrelated to the agreement.

The self-destructive sanctions will continue to damage the U.S. and European economies, as well as result in shortages across the globe. But Russia has energy and food to last the cold winter; what the U.S. does to their currency won’t alter their actions. Russia’s president has outsmarted the U.S. president here. Let’s hope Biden can tread water until 2024.