The talks in Vienna over the Iranian regime’s highly controversial and suspicious nuclear program took a turn for the worst last week. Russia, after being slapped with heavy international sanctions following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, has been tying the future of the talks to its own new set of demands.
Logically, Tehran should be protesting such a move by Moscow, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is literally taking the Iranian regime’s interests’ hostage to undermine the recent sanctions on his government. However, no such protests from senior Iranian regime officials have been voiced, leaving one to conclude the mullahs need Russia’s support no matter the cost and to secure that they are willing to carry Putin’s water.
This had led to concerns being voiced by Iranian state media recently. On March 12, the state-run Etemad daily published a piece focusing on this evolving and sensitive topic. “Russia raising new issues, which has no meaning other than taking hostage Iran’s interests and the JCPOA itself, has increased concerns over the negotiation’s fate,” the piece explains, using the official term of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“The reason behind Russia demanding guarantees notwithstanding, we need to precisely and comprehensively analyze the status quo to surpass this crisis. If Russia’s request is not managed correctly, it will plunge Iran into a new round of endless tensions. Such a matter can lift the pressure off of Russia from the Ukraine issue and return it to the Middle East,” the article adds.
This turn of events has raised eyebrows and questions about the circumstances around the nuclear talks and whether nor not a final text has even been agreed to.
“The remaining differences in Vienna have not been resolved,” according to a March 12, piece published in the Iranian regime’s state-run Resalat daily. “Even if Russia had not mentioned its recent positions, most certainly we would still not be witness to a final agreement due to the fact that guarantees have not been provided regarding the JCPOA’s future, and sanctions imposed on our country by the previous U.S. government after leaving the JCPOA will not be fully lifted,” the piece continues.
The method used by the mullahs’ regime in its relations with Russia has allowed Putin to use its interests as a piece in a larger chess game involving world powers and issues far beyond Iran and the Middle East. As a result, many in the Iranian regime are wondering whether a positive turnout is now out of their hands, or even impossible.
“Russia has taken the JCPOA hostage in its conflict with the West over the invasion of Ukraine. Moscow is insisting on using Iran in the face of the West’s escalating sanctions,” according to a March 12, piece in the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily.
“However, it appears that through such demands Russia wants to replace the U.S. as the main party to the nuclear talks… By adopting a policy of looking to the East, we have now placed our hand under Russia’s cleaver,” the piece adds.
With Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei looking to Russia and China in the past few years, it has become crystal clear that in contrast to claims made by Khamenei and his regime’s officials, the regime has been forced to sell Iran’s economic and political independence to Moscow and Beijing, two parties that obviously never have the Iranian people’s interests in mind nor consider Tehran their equal.
As we speak, Tehran is auctioning the Iranian people’s oil at cheap prices to China in exchange for goods, thus severely damaging Iran’s domestic production. To make matters even worse, the mullahs are in the process of hammering a disastrous 25-year agreement that is bound to provide China an even larger share of Iran’s economy with very little in exchange.
The Iranian regime is also in the middle of negotiations over a separate “strategic agreement” with Russia, which is already being mocked by the Iranian public as the Second Turkmenchay Treaty, in which Iran’s Qajar monarchy of the 19th century handed over large portions of Iranian territory to the Tzarist Russia.
With Khamenei placing his bets on the East, his regime has become taken hostage in the politics and interests of Eastern power hubs that care nothing about Iran and its future.