IPD Executive Director Bijan Ahmadi participated in a discussion on BBC Persian on increased Russia-Iran cooperation including the launch of ‘Khayyam’ satellite and recent developments in JCPOA negotiations.
On Khayyam satellite launch, Ahmadi said that before the Ukraine invasion, Russians were hesitant to expand cooperation with Iran in sensitive fields like space and military fearing Western sanctions and backlash from regional countries including Israel and Saudi Arabia. However, with the broad Western sanctions imposed on Moscow post Ukraine invasion, they are no longer concerned about facing sanctions for cooperation with Iran. In addition, Kremlin believes that it can benefit from cooperation with Iran to circumvent sanctions. In return, Tehran seeks to receive some of the sensitive capabilities that it has been looking to acquire for a long time from Moscow including advanced satellite technology for intelligence gathering.
On JCPOA negotiations, Ahmadi said that one of the hurdles to reviving the deal is now IAEA’s probe into Iran’s past nuclear activities. “Islamic Republic decision makers are concerned that any open investigation in the IAEA may provide an excuse for the current or future administrations in Washington to withdraw from the deal or to reimpose sanctions. Therefore it is unlikely that Tehran agrees to revive the deal without a solution to resolve and close the IAEA investigation before Iran implements its nuclear commitments.”
Bijan Ahmadi (@AhmadiBijanFA) is a foreign policy analyst and the Executive Director of the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy.