So, while Trumpkins are claiming that Trump's decision is proof that he's not in Putin's pocket (because the Kremlin had been urging the US to keep to the agreement), some are saying that Trump's leaving serves a bigger purpose for Putin:
Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia and author of the new memoir From Cold War to Hot Peace, has one more reason to keep the deal: Abandoning it would play right into Russian president Vladimir Putin’s narrative that the US is untrustworthy.Or, as someone argues at Huffington Post:
McFaul worked on the Iran deal under Barack Obama. In a phone interview with Quartz, he recalled the lengthy talks held between the Obama administration and the P5+1 (the five permanent UN security council members plus Germany, which allied to negotiate the deal with Iran) to create the deal. Based on the Trump administration’s current lack of “diplomatic enthusiasm” for renegotiation, McFaul predicts the US will walk away from its historic agreement.
“Russia will be fine with that because they will be on the side of the rest of the international community. We—the Trump administration and the United States—will look like the outliers; we will look like the non-cooperative ones and Russia will look they’re like part of international law and cooperation,” he said.
As the U.S. puts more economic pressure on Iran, the Islamic republic will find it harder to acquire friends. That leaves Tehran with Moscow. Though the two are uneasy partners, they have cooperated to combat international initiatives that might challenge their own interests. In Syria, for instance, they fight side-by-side and present a united front in global organizations to defend their mutual friend Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Hard-liners in Tehran want to deepen that relationship. In the process, they seek to boost the sense of righteous resistance to the West that keeps aggressive nationalism strong among their base and ensure that their country remains a Putin-style autocratic society, rather than gaining more exposure to the Western liberties that many ordinary Iranians have clamored for.
A more isolated and paranoid Iran means “the Russians gain geostrategically,” said Reza Marashi, the research director at the National Iranian American Council and a former State Department official.
The United States, he added, is helping reinforce a perception that the Russians want to strengthen: that today Washington may hold sway in the southern half of the Middle East, but the north ― including key areas in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey ― is under Moscow’s influence.
And that plays precisely into what Putin deeply desires ― to make Russia, 27 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, once again look like an equal to the U.S.
Sounds more or less plausible to me...
Update: noticed this via Twitter -
Update: noticed this via Twitter -
Two Iranian airlines have signed deals to buy 40 passenger planes from Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, amid slow progress with orders of western-built aircraft.The article does note that Iran already has much bigger orders with Airbus and Boeing, but the planes are coming slowly. If the US prevents Boeing completing its orders, it's potentially a further win for Russia, and possibly Airbus?
Aseman Airlines has agreed to buy 20 of the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 planes while Iran Air Tours, a subsidiary of national carrier Iran Air, has also ordered 20 of the planes. With an average list price of $50.5m each, the orders have a total value of just over $2bn.