File this in the “I’ve Got a Baaaad Feeling About This” folder: Vladimir Putin has just signed a historic agreement with Iran to bypass American sanctions and send one-fifth of Iran’s oil to the former Soviet nation.
Russia will help Iran organise oil sales as well as “cooperate in the oil-gas industry, construction of power plants, grids, supply of machinery, consumer goods and agriculture products”, according to a statement by the Energy Ministry in Moscow.
According to experts, the deal is a “win-win” for both Iran and Russia after they were hit with Western sanctions aimed at limiting their energy sectors. However, it may be a major “lose” for the US: The recent news seems to be yet another indication that Putin is able to do anything he wants, while the Obama administration is unsure how to respond.
Iran previously faced sanctions due to its refusal to end a controversial nuclear program. Under the new deal with Russia, the country may be able to simply shrug off such sanctions, and still be able to export oil in exchange for funding and supplies.
The White House has previously said that reports of talks between Russia and Iran were a matter of “serious concern”.
“If the reports are true, such a deal would raise serious concerns as it would be inconsistent with the terms of the agreement with Iran,” Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in January. However, now that the deal is a reality, it is unclear what actions President Obama and his administration will actually be able to take.
Could this be the beginning of a larger alliance between Russia and Iran, and should the U.S. be concerned? What is your opinion?