Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
The nuclear agreement reached between six major world powers and Iran marks an end to the crisis that has lasted 13 years.
No, this agreement is not a guarantee of safety. The government in Iran remains a theocratic regime that absolutely needs to create enemies and to fight them. And, literally a day before the agreement was reached, the actual head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, confirmed that the essence of the regime is the need to oppose the United States.
It is also clear that until the theocracy collapses Iran will not give up on attempts to develop nuclear weapons. It will act more carefully and will be caught in the act. So there will be new crises in the future.
However, this one has ended. In practice it means abandoning the sanctions against Iran. Within a few months Iran will be able to begin to take advantage of its oil. And this means not only the oil that will be extracted, but first of all the oil that has accumulated during the sanctions period. And this also means that such a quantity of crude will reach the market simultaneously that the consumer simply will not be able to digest it. In turn, this means that the price of crude will drop significantly. Once the accumulated oil runs out, the price will recover but not by much.
This means serious challenges for countries such as Russia or Venezuela. The Russian budget again will face a significant deficits. The Russian ruble will collapse. Prices in Russian stores will soar. Mass layoffs will begin along with delays in the payment of wages and pensions. Or there will be no delays, but the exchange rate of Russian currency will rise.
On the one hand, this is good for Ukraine. Any movement toward the complete and irreversible collapse of Putin’s regime and the reformatting of Russia into something that resembles a country rather than a gang of predators is useful for us. But on the other hand, the problems in the Russian economy will bring difficulties for us as well because, unfortunately, our markets have not been completely separated and we remain dependent on a drowning entity. This is something that we must also take into account. If we want to survive, we must absolutely reject any economic ties with Russia.
Another important result of the agreements with Iran is that the West, once again, will be able to pay close attention to the Ukrainian crisis. In recent weeks, the situation around Greece and the situation around Iran were the most important items on the agendas of Western diplomacy. At the same time, in the case of Greece, it was necessary to prevent the possible destructive interference of the Kremlin, which has its agents in the ranks of the Greek left-wing and right-wing radicals, and, in the case of Iran, to cooperate with the Kremlin to achieve an acceptable result. Now the importance of these contacts has decreased. However, there is growing interest in solving the Ukrainian crisis. And we need to take advantage of this interest so that we are not pressured by others, but so that we and the West together put pressure on Russia. Moreover, as the price of oil drops — and it will drop even before the additional volumes of crude appear on the market — the Kremlin will be more cautious and accommodating.
At the same time, it is important not to forget that we are dealing with a window of opportunity. And the Greek crisis and the crisis around Iran do not have permanent solutions. Instability will inevitably return. And before it does, it would be desirable to resolve our most fundamental issues related to the restoration of the territorial integrity of our country and the acceleration of its European and Euro-Atlantic integration.