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While the media’s obsession with the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been front-and-center in our minds, the rest of the world is essentially being ignored. It’s not unusual to see this kind of pre-occupation with dangerous world events. But the media and the U.S. are demonstrating, once again, that we are unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, or more likely, choose not to. And the situation could actually escalate in unexpected ways, putting the entire world at risk, if we don’t wake up.
Rather than focus on Russia and Ukraine, I want to remind you that there is supposedly an Iran negotiation taking place regarding the hopeless and meaningless JCPOA. President Trump had enough sense to know that it made no sense to stay in the agreement because from the start, the Iranians ignored the requirements. They managed hidden sites with centrifuges and when inspections were “requested” by the IAEA, they simply said “no.” In addition, I never could see the point in trying to delay their production of a nuclear weapon: they would develop the weapon, regardless. But everyone wanted to pretend that the JCPOA, along with Obama’s bribing the Iranians with $150 billion would somehow mitigate the situation. Of course, there are some who could technically say we were releasing Iran’s own money that had been frozen, but then why did we try to release it in secret?
Meanwhile, Joe Biden decided to reconstruct the JCPOA, even though the Iranians have made substantial progress in enriching uranium, and are perhaps only weeks away from having enough fissile material for a bomb:
Some critics have said the U.S. should have called it quits long ago, with Iran enriching uranium up to 60% and enriching uranium metal, spinning more advanced centrifuges and more of them, and obstructing access for the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear weapons-grade uranium is enriched at 90%, while the nuclear deal capped Iran’s enrichment at 3.67% for 15 years. . .
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others have warned for a couple of weeks now that Iran is just a ‘few weeks’ away from that critical threshold — although the senior State Department official said it would take some additional time to actually build a nuclear bomb, declining to provide a timeline for that.
These circumstances are dangerous enough, but now we are reminded that both China and Russia are in on the negotiations with Iran. And Russia is very unhappy about the sanctions we have imposed on them regarding their war on Ukraine. Putin told the Iranians before he invaded Ukraine of his intentions:
One of President Putin’s first calls after declaring his intention to invade Ukraine was to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi who told the Russian leader that he supported his decision and affirmed that ‘NATO expansion is a serious threat to the security and stability of independent nations.’ Some Iranians have taken to the streets to protest President Putin’s actions, showing that support for the Russian regime is not uniform in the country.
Putin is not satisfied with gaining the support of Iran regarding the Ukraine invasion. Most recently he has made his own additional demands regarding the nuclear deal:
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and pretty much the rest of the world have sanctioned Russia so severely that it has crippled their economy. This week, Russia threw a monkey wrench into the Iran talks by demanding that a nuclear deal include provisions that do not hinder its trade with Iran.
Essentially, the Russians might be using the Iran Nuclear Deal talks to try and get western powers to lift sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
These factors don’t even describe the number of times that Iran has poked our country in the eye during negotiations:
‘On January 3rd, two suicide drones were aimed at the State Department’s Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center near the Baghdad International Airport. Two more terror drones targeted American forces deployed to fight ISIS at the Al Asad air base. The base has been repeatedly hammered by Iran-backed rocket attacks over the past year, most notably when 14 rockets struck the base over the summer causing several injuries.’
‘There were repeated Iran-backed rocket strikes against Americans in Iraq throughout the last year totaling an estimated 25 separate attacks under the Biden administration.’
‘On September 11, two drones launched an attack on U.S. forces at Erbil International Airport.’ This time the attack apparently targeted our consulate in Erbil.
At this point, Iran is probably extremely frustrated at the delays in completing the nuclear deal and having sanctions lifted, and is raising the stakes.
So, what are the potential conclusions we can consider from this international mess?
First, we already know that Russia and China are allied, although the status of that alliance might be in question, given Russia’s performance in Ukraine. Both countries are supporting Iran and want to continue to do business with the Iranians. All three countries are now, or are soon-to-be, nuclear powers. The Biden administration will be desperate to close a nuclear deal with Iran, and even though they state they will not acquiesce to unreasonable demands from Iran, I’m not confident that they are strong enough to back out if failure is imminent. Due to Iran’s negotiations, and the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are losing credibility with those Middle Eastern nations that chose to be allied with us, and to those groups from the region that are hostile to us:
Fayez Abu Shamala, a political analyst from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, also sounded optimistic regarding the growing weakness of the US and its allies. He wrote:
‘Today, NATO stands unable to protect its allies and is facing a rising Russian power. Some NATO countries want to be liberated from American hegemony. The coming days will bring many surprises. We, the Arabs and Palestinians, have nothing to do but watch events with great caution and ponder how to exploit the developments.’
Just when we might have thought we didn’t have to focus on terrorism with Russia in our sights, we are in danger once more. Where will the realignments take place? Who are our legitimate allies anymore? Is there a country we can count on to back us up in the face of Russian aggression, Iranian recalcitrance, Chinese realignment potential, and our own inability to stand up against evil?Published in