The Real Winner in the Russia Investigations Is Iran
While the Evil Party and the Stupid Party continue to bludgeon each other into extinction over whether Putin was manipulating our election, the real winner from our politicians' current endless Russia-fixation is the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Sound like a stretch? Not at all. The reasons should be evident.
Russia is not rich. It currently ranks 12th in overall GNP, about even with Australia, which has roughly one-seventh Russia’s population. It's a dismal 47th in per capita GNP -- unimpressive, to say the least, for the world’s largest country with immense natural resources spread over 11 time zones.
And things have not been looking up. Their population has been declining since 1991. The price of oil -- by far their largest export -0 is down. Making matters worse, Donald Trump, allegedly Putin’s best friend, has opened the U.S. energy spigots, threatening to drive that price even lower. (Putin would have done a lot better with Hillary's anti-fracking position, assuming that wasn't a phony.)
Yes, they have a powerful nuclear arsenal with potent missiles to deliver them, but Russia needs friends, badly -- especially to shore up its forces in the seemingly never-ending civil war in Syria. Enter Iran. From Reuters Monday:
Iran's president met Russia's prime minister on Monday in a bid to develop a warming relationship that has been greatly strengthened by both sides' involvement on the same side of the war in Syria.
Beginning a visit to Moscow, President Hassan Rouhani told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: "I hope that a new turning-point in the development of our relations will be reached."
Iranian arms purchases and Russian investment in the Iranian energy sector are likely talking points for Rouhani, less than two months before Iran's May 19 presidential election.
Iranian media say he will discuss several economic agreements - potentially valuable prizes for the moderate leader [sic], who is keen to show his people that Iran is benefiting from its 2015 deal with world powers to rein back its nuclear programme in returning for an easing of international sanctions.
Aside from Reuters' credulous nonsense that Rouhani is in any way moderate, where did all the mullahs' new deal-making money come from in the first place? Well, we know. Iran, for reasons still unfathomable, received huge amounts -- sometimes in cold, hard cash -- from the Obama administration after the Iran deal and later apparently to preserve it. (The contents of that deal, unknown to all but a few, are what really deserve a congressional investigation, not the present kangaroo court.) What did the mullahs do with the cash? Help their impoverished citizens or buy $10 billion worth of modern weapons from the Russians? Well, we know that too. Obama’s deal helped create a match made in Hell.
And the worse part of this Hellish match is Iran, not Russia (although she's no picnic). Vladimir Putin is obviously a dictatorial plutocrat with massive ambitions, but he’s more or less sane. The mullahs of Iran are also dictatorial plutocrats, but they’re not (sane). Some of them believe absolutely delusional theories dreamed up in the seventh century and have set out to prove them true -- in Iran, in Syria, in Yemen, in North Korea, in South America, and on and on. They are as crazy as ISIS and far more dangerous because they already have a large country from which to enact their imperialist/millennialist fantasies.