From Moscow's perspective, having a nuclear-armed Iran, one that is Russia's ally, will greatly enhance its ability to challenge the West says Con Coughlin for The Gatestone Institute
As one of the signatories of the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the flawed nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, Russia, as well as China, will ultimately have a say in any new agreement that emerges from the Vienna talks.
Rather than seeking to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, Beijing and Moscow are more interested in forming an alliance with Iran to counter what they denounce as America's unilateralism, and thwarting "draconian" US sanctions.
Given Moscow's open hostility towards the West, it is abundantly clear that the Kremlin wants to exploit the weakness of the Biden administration to ensure the negotiations provide an even more unsatisfactory deal than the one signed off by Barack Obama in 2015, one that completely fails to address the very real threat Iran's nuclear weapons will pose to the wider world.
From Moscow's perspective, having a nuclear-armed Iran, one that is Russia's ally, will greatly enhance its ability to challenge the West.
In return, Iran has formed a new "axis of evil" with Moscow, providing it with weaponry, such as sophisticated drones, to support its war effort in Ukraine, while at the time providing assistance to Tehran to evade the effects of Western sanctions.
While these two despotic regimes seem determined to forge an ever closer alliance, however, their objectives are completely at odds with the demands of their respective citizens, whose primary concern is securing their freedom, not supporting the military aspirations of the ruling elites.
There is growing concern in Washington that US President Joe Biden is preparing to sign a new deal with Tehran once the midterm elections have been concluded, and that his officials are prepared to sign a far weaker version of the deal than that originally agreed to in 2015.
That would be a grave miscalculation on the part of the Biden administration.
This should be the moment when the US and its allies are intensifying the pressure on both Iran and Moscow, not capitulating to their interests with a weak nuclear deal which will only encourage them to indulge in further acts of aggression against the West and its allies.
For the full article in pdf, please click here:
Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi hold a meeting in Tehran on July 19, 2022. (Photo by Sergei Savostyanov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)