While most of the news involving Russia these days focuses on “the most hated man in the world” and his unprovoked attack on a neighboring nation, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Russia is also our trusted partner in the ongoing negotiations with Iran. This somewhat schizophrenic approach to American foreign policy was a necessity, or so we were told, to ensure that the Iranians would come back to the table and agree that they would never have nuclear weapons. The Russians were the ones who held the key to Iran’s heart and they were ideally poised to make this deal happen. In an update from the State Department yesterday, however, it sounded as if Russia isn’t much better at deal-making than they are at planning a land war in Ukraine. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that we no longer know if Iran will ever agree to any sort of arrangement. He reiterated that a deal with Iran “is neither imminent nor is it certain.” Well, knock us over with a feather. (Fox News)
After almost a year of stop-and-go talks with Iran to bring it back under a nuclear agreement, the State Department on Tuesday said it remains unclear whether Tehran will ever agree to a deal.
“The jury is still out as to whether we will in fact, be able to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] JCPOA,” State Department press secretary Ned Price said. “An agreement of this sort is neither imminent nor is it certain.”
Price said that while the chief goal is to reach an agreement with Iran to block it from possessing a nuclear weapon, the White House has a contingency plan should the U.S. and JCPOA partner nations fail to broker a deal.
Right from the beginning, the Biden administration has been so close-lipped about these negotiations that the country was left almost entirely in the dark about what was going on. Until only recently, most reporters wouldn’t even bother to ask, though eventually, some details leaked out. Based on what Ned Price said yesterday, however, we probably have a better idea about the answer to that question. We didn’t know what was going on because nothing has been going on.
Should anyone be shocked by this news? The negotiations were reportedly botched almost from the beginning. (And that’s only if you believe that attempting to negotiate our way back into the JCPOA was a good idea to start with.) Biden’s man in charge of this effort is Robert Malley and he went in on day one offering the Iranians so much that they “could not believe their good fortune.” This eventually led our deputy special envoy for Iran to walk out of the talks and return to the private sector.
When offering Iran more than they’d ever dreamed they might get didn’t work, we turned around and floated the idea of removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, angering one of our closest allies who not coincidentally faces the greatest risk if Iran gets some nukes. And even though there is clearly zero progress to report, we’re still trying to make it happen, even after the IRGC lobbed missiles at our consulate in Iraq.
Through it all, we continue to place our trust in Russia to make this happen. You know… the country that recently threatened to drop banned chemical weapons on the Ukrainians. It should be becoming clear at this point that the Russians are either incapable of pulling this off or they never really wanted to help in the first place. Maybe Joe Biden should consider bringing in Venezuela to handle the negotiations with the Iranians. Oh, wait… I probably shouldn’t joke about that. The State Department might already be considering it.