Monday, April 13, 2015

Russia Reaps Early Benefits of Iran Nuclear Deal

While the U.S. was busy reacting to Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency in 2016, Russia has announced that it is lifting its ban on missile system deliveries to Iran and that the two countries have already embarked on an oil-for-goods swap under a barter agreement.

The mainly Republican U.S. senators determined to scrap the Iran deal were probably busy focusing on assassinating Clinton’s character ahead of her highly anticipated presidential bid announcement. Vladimir Putin has now certainly made their mission more difficult if not impossible to scrap that deal before it is finalized and fully agreed upon in June.

The gains to Russia in the field of oil and gas are great and the cooperation between the two countries must not be underestimated as stated by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister who also said that the arms embargo should be lifted as soon as a final nuclear deal is in place.

Think of this move as an early lucrative deal that will only bring about a slew of other deals as defense deals – especially to the volatile Middle East -- usually do. From training on the new missiles to sale of parts and more weaponry, not only to Iran but to neighboring countries to build their defenses against Iran’s armament. This is the kind of deal the U.S. and other super powers would have wanted for themselves but Russia jumped ahead of everyone for a strategic benefit.

While Israel wishes the nuclear deal would just go away and while officials there continue to pour over the language of the agreement to make sure it satisfies their objections to and fear from a nuclear Iran, Syria’s tyrant is comfortably sitting at the helm of a divided and butchered nation, knowing very well he will likely gain from this shift in regional politics in favor of Iran.

Meanwhile, Lebanon commemorates the fortieth anniversary of its bloody civil war that ended in principle but never in reality and can be reignited at any second to destabilize the entire region and throw it into an even larger chaos.

The Middle East looks like it is barely holding together by a thin thread. One move and it will all collapse into irreparable damage.

Russia took a step into the shifting sands of the Middle East. If played right, this move can prove witty, lucrative and beneficial in the long term not only for Russia, but for its allies as well. It might very well define and shape the U.S. position as well.

We now wait for the U.S.’ move, as much of what will happen next in the region is riding on whether U.S. lawmakers will follow through on making this deal work to their advantage and that of the Iranian people, or allow the fear mongering and aimless personal attacks drown and suffocate their decision.


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