Anna Borshchevskaya is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute, focusing on Russia's policy toward the Middle East.
Articles & Testimony
In seeking to salvage the JCPOA, Biden should not assume cooperation from Moscow, but instead focus on building a unified strategy that strengthens the U.S. negotiating position.
The Biden administration has made a return to the Iran deal one of its chief foreign policy priorities. With all eyes on Tehran, now it is important to pay attention to another country—Russia. Moscow had assisted Iran’s nuclear program for years. Russian state-run Atomstroyexport helped Iranians complete the Bushehr nuclear power plant and officially gave them control of the facility in September 2013, two years before the JCPOA was reached. In this context it should not surprise that Russian support of the JCPOA was crucial to the Obama administration. Russia’s role will be critical now as well. And while much remains uncertain—Secretary of State Tony Blinken envisions a slow and complicated process, focused on ensuring that Iran will make good on returning into compliance—the Biden administration should prepare for Russia to complicate, rather than support its efforts. Moscow long opposed the tough sanctions that brought Iran to the JCPOA negotiating table in the first place...