While the Iranians take a victory lap over Obama’s capitulation to their nuclear program, their patrons in Russia are celebrating, too.
The pro-Kremlin Russia Today notes Russia thinks U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe will be scrapped as part of the deal. If Iran is allegedly giving up on nuclear weapons, the logic goes, Europe will not need that shield anymore.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cites President Barack Obama on this very topic, years ago. “We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague, President Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system will disappear,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.
It is debatable whether everyone in the hapless Obama State Department remembers the president saying that. Also, back in 2009, these bumbling fools were convinced Russia was friendly—hey, Hillary Clinton even gave them a “reset button!”
Years later, in the 2012 presidential election, President Obama would mock his opponent Mitt Romney for warning about the Russian threat. Now an expansionist Russia is knocking on every Baltic door, threatening NATO itself, and displacing U.S. influence in the Middle East while counting on President Obama to continue weakening America’s position, for as long as he remains in office.
The Russians are supposed to be big players in ensuring Iranian compliance with the minimal terms of the nuclear deal, which should tell you a lot about how much wiggle room Iran has to ignore even the few minor concessions it has made.
“Lavrov reminded that it was Russia that suggested the concepts of consistency and mutuality that later played an important role in all stages of work on the Iranian nuclear deal,” RT reports. “These concepts made sure that every step from Iran towards the demands of the global community was accompanied by counter steps from P5+1 and from UN on weakening the sanction burden towards the eventual lifting of the sanctions.”
Now that those sanctions are evaporating, Russia looks forward to big profits in the future, after a bit of short-term expense from oil prices and the ruble dropping. Iranian orders for Russian weapons will soar, and the Iranians are going to use those weapons or get them into the hands of proxies who will. Technically, there are supposed to be some arms restrictions against Iran for a few years, but Lavrov is already talking about getting around them.
As for President Vladimir Putin, he celebrated the deal and said “we are certain the world heaved a sigh of relief today,” perpetuating the notion that Iran had The World on the ropes, and it is a good thing we gave them what they wanted before they hurt more people.
“Russia will do everything in its power to ensure the full implementation of the Vienna agreement, assisting in strengthening global and regional security, global nuclear non-proliferation, the creation in the Middle East of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and the mobilization of a broad coalition in the region to counter terrorist threats,” Putin added.
In addition to triggering an inevitable Saudi response, Putin’s boy in Damascus, Bashar Assad, does not seem to have soured on the idea of holding weapons of mass destruction. Reports of chemical weapons attacks in Syria continue to surface, even though Russia was supposed to take the lead in making them gas-free, just like they are going to help keep Iran nuke-free.