US and Russia Relations: Focusing on Iran as a Threat
Recent US troop movements to Europe under President Obama along with President Trump’s rhetoric on China have placed the world on edge. In this continuing series, we will focus on US and Russian relations, providing verifiable facts on situations affecting our world and leave it to you, the readers, to draw your own conclusions.
When President Obama first took office, he promised to have a reset with Russia. Then, on 17 September 2009, it was announced that the U.S. was dropping the Bush Administration’s plan to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. Russia had viewed the planned missile shield as a military threat and Vladimir Putin said the decision to end the deployment was “correct and brave.” Later, President Obama reversed this decision with a new missile defense program to Eastern Europe. President Obama cited Iran seeking nuclear missiles as a justification for the new systems. On July 14th 2015 the Iran nuclear deal was finalized in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ending the perceived threat.
On October 22nd 2015 President Putin stated:
“The nuclear deterrent lost its value. Some probably even had the illusion that victory of one party in a world conflict was again possible – without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner, if there ever is one… They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying. It was not about the hypothetical Iranian threat, which never existed. It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favor not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all: to their geopolitical competition and, I believe, to their allies as well. This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful to all, including, in my opinion, to the United States.”
President Obama declared on January 16th 2016, “The International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran has completed the necessary steps under the Iran deal that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program is and remains exclusively peaceful.” Then on February 3rd 2017 President Trump placed new sanctions on Iran due to ballistic missile tests.
“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). This action reflects the United States’ commitment to enforcing sanctions on Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities in the region and is fully consistent with the United States’ commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” – President Donald Trump, February 3rd, 2017
Please review the links within the article and draw your own conclusions. Next week we will continue this discussion on Russia and US relations from the effects of events in Ukraine and Syria.