Afifeh Abedi told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations that that the Russians are well informed of the Biden’s motivation to revive the US achievement in the nuclear deal and are therefore trying to initiate more activities in their relations with Iran and use such activity as a card on the negotiation table with the United States.
She added that the impact of the election of Joe Biden as US president on the relations between the United States and Russia can be investigated in several dimensions.
“At the macro level, the Biden’s policy towards Russia is a function of the same strategic and traditional policy line of the United States government towards Russia as the main survivor of the former Soviet Union which has demonstrated in the past several decades its strong motivation to revive its previous Soviet superpower status.”
She added that the main policy of the Biden administration would be the policy of containment and weakening of Russia, saying that the Russians are well aware of such a policy which would be different from the official policy to be declared by Washington.
“Biden would stretch the hand of friendship to Russia and pose new avenues of cooperation and negotiation however such measures would be in line with the same general goal of the United States,” she said, pointing to the Washington’s policy of containment of Russia.
Referring to Biden’s efforts and power to convince other US allies to follow such a policy, she said the Biden’s declared policy with other players either in the East or the West could create some challenges for Russia particularly when Moscow wants to exploit opportunities in the East.
Russia’s challenge, smart confrontation with the Biden’s carrot and stick policy
Abedi said Russia, in the new era of Biden, faces the challenge of smart decision making and treatment concerning such a double standard of Biden.
“Russia faced the same challenge during Obama tenure too. Biden’s declared foreign policy towards not only Russia but also other players such as Iran would be to stretch the hand of friendship and show green light however at the same time to use leverage of pressure in other forms. Such a policy which is referred to as the carrot and stick policy is usually pursued by various administrations in the United States .”
She added that such an approach by the United States would face global consensus and put more pressure on the US rivals such as Russia, saying that Washington’s hidden hostility is in fact he biggest challenge for US rivals especially Russia and would cause doubts for the other party.
Referring to former US ambassador to Russia William Burns nomination for the director of the CIA, she said such nominations demonstrate the same framework and program by the White House.
Abedi said new cases would be opened against Trump probably until an indefinite period after Biden’s inauguration which would probably involve Russia.
“In the meantime, human rights and democracy issues would be also pursued and highlighted by the Biden’s administration against Russia. All such issues and developments would create new political tensions between the White House and the Kremlin which would be in line with the program to be pursued probably by the Biden administration concerning Moscow and other US rivals.”
New tensions outside of the US near Russia during the Biden’s administration
Abedi, a researcher with the Strategic Research Institute of the State Expediency Council, said during the Trump administration, there were very few outside crises near Russia which could influence Moscow’s interests. However, in the new administration, these crises are highly likely to re-appear and test Russia’s patience.
“This is while Russia has no choice but to welcome the Washington’s declared policy of stretching the hand of friendship because Russia’s choice and active diplomacy is based on non-tension with international powers especially the United States.”
Referring to changes in Russia in comparison to Obama’s period and also different period during Biden’s tenure, she said these players have had different experience which has resulted in increased mistrust between them.
“Such mistrust should be removed in any way. On the other side, Russia was able to impose its power during this period and during Obama’s period concerning the issue of Ukraine. In Syria, Russia proved itself as an important player and would therefore have some bargaining chips.”
Impacts of new relations between Russia and the United States on Iran during Biden
Referring to the impact of such relations on Iran, she said such factors would create new conditions for other players related somewhat to these powers and would also involve them.
“Specifically for Iran, as the nuclear issue remains unresolved and would be heightened with the arrival of Biden, these relations would be significant.”
She said relations between Russia and the United States would certainly influence the issue of the nuclear deal of Iran, adding that Iran should have choices which would secure its national interests under circumstances where there are challenges or international powers are getting close.
Russia seeking closer ties with Iran
The Strategic Research Center researcher said Russia would try to increase its cards against the United States.
“During the Trump period, relations between Iran and Russia were boosted significantly. Recently such relations have diminished of course. But it seems that during the Biden tenure, Russia would try to get close to Iran and other players in order to gain more bargaining power against the United States.”
Abedi said that Russians are well informed of the Biden’s motivation to revive the US achievement in the nuclear deal and are therefore trying to initiate more activities in their relations with Iran and use such activity as a card on the negotiation table with the United States.
“It is not a distinct possibility that Moscow would expand its relations with Tehran in order to introduce itself as an effective player in its relations with Iran.”