Russian-American relations affect Iran in important ways that need to be better recognized. In years past, when the U.S. dismissed most Russian fears as ridiculous (e.g., our Eastern European missile defense system) or unwarranted meddling (e.g., NATO expansion surrounding Russia), Russia reciprocated by slighting our concerns that it did not see as high priorities – for example, Iran’s nuclear program. Now that the U.S. is being more understanding of Russia, Russia has become more accommodating with respect to our Iranian fears.
Russia recently canceled delivery of its S-300 air defense system to Iran even though that meant losing $800 million. Aside from helping reduce the risk of a nuclear-armed Iran, our improved approach to Russia defuses tension – critically important since only the U.S. and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to end civilization.