US will not list Russia as state sponsor of terrorism, Secretary of State says Antoine Blinken explained last week. “Virtually all the penalties, sanctions and pressures that could be exerted by this designation, we already do,” he said at a press conference in Washington. Mr Blinken’s remarks were classic policy for the Biden administration – issuing a statement saying it is doing all it can while slowing down or outright refusing options such as increased economic sanctions or increased military support . This is on full display when it comes to its policy toward Russia, which the administration is undermining by doubling down on its failed negotiations with Iran.
Tehran has deepened its friendship with Moscow in recent months as both governments endure Western isolation and censorship. Since his invasion of Ukraine in February, Vladimir Putin has visited Iranians twice, first with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran in July, then with President Ebrahim Raisi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan last week. At the latter meeting, Putin announced that a delegation of 80 Russian companies would visit Iran this week to expand business ties.