Samuel Hickey, a research analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, DC, notes both the United States and Russia have so far prevented the crisis in Ukraine from derailing their collaboration in containing Iran’s nuclear program, but that the dynamic may not last.
“It is difficult to speculate, but so far, both the United States and Russia have been able to compartmentalize the respective crises in Ukraine and Iran and work harmoniously towards that shared goal of reviving the JCPOA,” he said.
“However, there is a real risk that if negotiations drag on too much longer and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine begins to go south, Russia could thwart the talks in Vienna by attempting to blackmail the West,” Hickey said. “It is unlikely because reviving the JCPOA is in both the United States and Russia’s national security interests, but it does add greater pressure on the negotiators to finalize a deal now,” he told Asia Times.
Hickey anticipates a race to escalation and unforeseen new consequences should the talks fail.
“If talks in Vienna fail, then the world should brace for a risky escalation that has the possibility to spiral out of control. Iran might up the nuclear ante further, which could lead the United States to impose even more punitive sanctions…Should talks fail, it is unclear what might happen if Iran inches too much closer to enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb and Israel’s blood pressure rises.” Read more