Tougher US stance on Iran beneficial to Russia
"Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive, destabilising and unlawful behaviour. To do otherwise would be foolish. We can't talk about stability in the Middle East without talking about Iran; that's because nearly every threat to peace and security in the Middle East is connected to Iran's outlawed behavior. We can't talk about stability in the Middle East without talking about Iran; that's because nearly every threat to peace and security in the Middle East is connected to Iran's outlawed behavior. We can't talk about stability in the Middle East without talking about Iran; that's because nearly every threat to peace and security in the Middle East is connected to Iran's outlawed behavior," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
On October 13, US President Donald Trump announced plans to review country's Iran strategy and possible decertification of the nuclear deal. Russian Foreign Ministry promised to continue to tell Washington that it's wrong in its attempts to paralyze this agreement on Iranian atom.
According to deputy director of the Institute of Forecasting and Political Settlement, Alexander Kuznetsov, there are two reasons for Donald Trump's decision to revise America's Iran strategy: "The first is domestic political situation in the United States. The second is the desire to please political allies, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia. The steps Trump is taking now are completely premature. Serious political duspute between the US and the EU can be one of the consequences."
Kuznetsov sees several ways of how events will unfold: "The first scenario, which would be the worst for Iran, is that American pressure on European allies and on European companies will lead to gradual return of the sanctions regime. Return of sanctions in the oil sector, supplies of oil to European countries and acquisition of new aircraft, particularly for civil aviation, will especially damage Iran. In addition, large Western banks, which are still very reluctant to cooperate with Iran, will cease all transfers, all financial relations. It will also hinder investment projects. How will Iran receive money, financial guarantees, loans? There will be stagnation in all projects of economic cooperation. If sanctions will indeed get tougher and European partners will submit to Washington's pressure, then it's possible that Iran will withdraw from the JCPOA. It won't happen immediately, it will take several months. It won't make international relations and situation in the Middle East more stable, it will be a tragedy."
The second scenario, according to Kuznetsov, comes down to the following: "Europeans either openly oppose Washington and ignore its demands, or they sabotage sanctions, agreeing to further expand economic ties with Iran. This scenario is will be even worse for Americans, because it means that the United States are no longer a great power. If no one pays attention to it, to its policy, to its demands, then it's even worse than direct protest."
Speaking about the consequences of Washington's Iran policy for Russia, Kuznetsov said: "This situation, oddly enough, is beneficial for the Russian Federation. It shouldn't try to take any active political actions, position itself as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran, since Americans won't accept this mediation, considering current level of the Russian-American relations."
Kuznetsov named stabilization of oil prices one of the positive consequences: "All political problems in the Middle East lead to an increase in oil prices. Considering the fact that Russia's economy is tied to the fuel and energy complex, it's beneficial for us."
According to him, the fact that Iran will be more interested in partnership with Russia is a second positive factor: "There's a very strong and very influential group in the Iranian elite that wants to cooperate with the West, unblock relations not only with the EU, but also with the United States. These politicians see Russia in the background. Right now positions of this group are getting weaker, while positions of conservative faction, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are getting stronger. These are our situational allies. Now Moscow will have more opportunities for economic and political cooperation with Tehran."