Moscow’s support was essential in securing the most recent agreement between the P5 + 1 and Iran, and reaching a final agreement with Iran is contingent even more on Russian support. President Putin could pull support from these talks in response to the United States’ position on Ukraine. Near to the end of his term, Obama could then face the prospects of once again trying to prevent a potential scenario where Israel pursues a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program. In the cases of both Syria and Iran, President Obama runs the risk of the situation in Ukraine impacting negatively on his Middle East policy.

~James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy