Some stories make so little sense that all you can do is scratch your head. Others are so infuriating that you want to tear your hair out. Then there are those that are so outrageous you’ll feel like your head is going to explode.
This story provokes the three reactions.
It starts with a strange and little-known fact: Russia is acting as an intermediary for the United States in nuclear talks with Iran.
When I first read that, I thought it couldn’t be true. With Russia then massing troops on the Ukrainian border, I figured even Biden’s White House couldn’t be stupid enough to trust Vladimir Putin to do anything in good faith or certainly anything is in America’s interest.
Unfortunately, the story was true, and even more alarmingly, Russia continues to lead the nuclear talks with America’s approval while its military simultaneously turns Ukrainian cities to rubble, ruthlessly killing civilians and creating the most major refugee crisis since World War II.
In response, the United States and Europe sanctioned the Russian economy and Putin’s cronies. The West is also supplying arms to Ukraine and helping to care for more than 2 million refugees.
But shouldn’t America also sever ties with Putin in the Iran talks? After all, since we don’t trust him in Ukraine and want to isolate him, why should we trust him to know if Iran gets nuclear weapons?
It has always defied any common sense meaning for Biden to believe that Putin cares about safeguarding America and our allies, including Israel, in negotiations with crazed mullahs. So it’s time to correct the error.
The New Axis of Evil
In the event that Biden and his team somehow missed the voluminous evidence of Putin’s depraved nature, Russia’s alliance with Iran in Syria and elsewhere should have ended any consideration of him as an honest broker.
Due to the Iran-Russia alliance, the developments of the past week now seem inevitable. First came reports that the nuclear talks were over and the deal could be signed any day now, sparking jubilant bluster from the anti-American side.
Video released by Real Clear Politics shows Russia’s chief negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov praising his Iranian “colleagues”, saying they are “fighting for [their] the national interest like the lions. They fight for every comma, every word, and, as a rule, very successfully.
He added: “I am absolutely sincere in this respect when I say that Iran has obtained much more than it could have expected. Our Chinese friends have also been very efficient and helpful as co-negotiators.
There you have it, the new axis of evil – Russia, China and Iran – working together on the nuclear pact. Who, please, was fighting for us?
And what exactly did Iran get?
There was also another twist, also involving the Russians. Days later, the talks hit a wall because Putin added a demand that a final nuclear deal would exempt Russia’s trade with Iran from US and European sanctions. to Ukraine.
It was a shrewd ploy, knowing how badly Biden wanted the Iran deal and the oil supply he would bring to market. The White House’s initial response was that there was no link between sanctions on Russia and the nuclear talks, but that is unlikely to be the final word if the talks remain stalled.
Be that as it may, the reality is that the two paths that were supposed to be parallel and unrelated – war and sanctions against Ukraine for one and talks with Iran for the other – suddenly merged. The standoff would count as good news if the whole Iran deal was scuttled, but the White House would still need to explain its outrageous arrangement with Putin.
The United States wants a deal
As for general facts, we know what they knew and when they knew it.
It turns out that the use of Russia as an intermediary with Iran has been going on for many months and predates Putin’s troop gathering on the Ukrainian border.
But even after he began moving his army into position for the invasion, Biden still trusted Putin to strike a verifiable deal that would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
For example, on January 24, NATO announced that it was preparing for a possible Russian invasion, stating that “Allies are putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments. in Eastern Europe. . . as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine.
Denmark, Spain, France and others began mobilizing troops, ships and fighter planes. The Pentagon said 8,500 US troops had been placed on “high alert” for deployment overseas.
Yet that same week, Secretary of State Tony Blinken urged Russia to advance nuclear talks. NBC News quoted Blinken as saying that “Russia shares our sense of urgency, the need to see if we can return to mutual conformity in the coming weeks, and we hope that Russia will use the leverage it has and the relationship it has with Iran to convey to Iran this sense of urgency.
Worse still, this desperate thirst for an agreement did not change even after Putin’s invasion in February, which coincided with a speech in which he declared that Ukraine was not even a country and referred to worryingly other former Soviet lands that are now free, including some from NATO.
Even now, despite the accusation that Putin is committing war crimes and despite warnings of World War III and nuclear Armageddon, Biden continues to let Putin negotiate terms with Iran on our behalf.
Biden got played again
The superficial explanation of why is simple: Iran refuses to meet directly with the American negotiators, so an intermediary was needed. But why Russia?
The most likely reason is that Iran and Russia tricked the United States into approving the Russian role. Consider it another foreign policy mistake by Biden, Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, aka the three blind mice.
Still, the question that makes your head explode is why didn’t Biden stop the deal when Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine? And why doesn’t he stop it now when the growing massacre in Ukraine horrifies the world?
He may want to preserve a relationship in case Putin wants an exit ramp from Ukraine. But Putin increasingly seems to have a different interpretation, that Biden is weak and easily dissuaded from confrontation.
If so, we could end up with the worst outcome of both: no end to the bloodshed in Ukraine and a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
Meanwhile, Biden keeps his brakes on American energy production in place as he digs through the phone book of dictators looking for sources of gas and oil to replace embargoed Russian fuel.
Of course, our president, as Robert Gates so aptly put it, has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
He’s also the same man that Barack Obama said, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to screw things up.”
Why would this time be any different?
New York Post