Russia’s unprovoked brutalization of Ukraine includes the likelihood of additional war crimes involving attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as Jim further detailed in today’s Jolt. (Jim notes, among other horribles, the deployment in urban areas of thermobaric multiple-rockets launchers, which Ukraine claims have been not merely deployed but used.)
How hair-raising, then, that we must turn our attention to the fact that, even as Russia was marshaling its invasion forces, the Biden administration was relying on Russia as its principal intermediary in the negotiations with Iran. It’s doubly humiliating: The president and his envoy, appeasement aficionado Rob Malley, have turned to a rogue for help because the other rogue they are pleading with for a deal won’t deign to negotiate directly with the United States.
Last week in our pages, my friend Victoria Coates, former Trump-administration deputy national-security adviser for Middle Eastern and South African affairs, related that Malley has been collaborating on the Iran negotiations with Russia’s lead diplomat, Mikhail Ulyanov. As Victoria pointed out, “when the negotiations foundered in late December of last year, Ulyanov was credited with bringing them back on track and setting the conditions to reach a new deal in 2022.”
In January, NBC News reported on some of these conditions. They included this stunner: “Tehran would be required to stop enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity and dispose of its current stockpile, possibly by exporting it to Russia, along with other restrictions.” A key component of the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was Iran’s willingness to park its enriched uranium — which, at the time, wasn’t as close to weapons-grade as the current 60 percent — in Russia. Later, Iran would get the uranium back from Russia if they decided that the U.S. was not complying with its obligations.
Read more at National Review