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Amid Ukraine Crisis, Biden Partnering with Russia to Revive Iran Deal, Thwart U.S. Opponents: Experts

Administration has held secret talks with Russians to preempt future Trump-like exit from accord, experts and former officials warn.

As President Biden condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine and publicly threatens Moscow with escalating punitive measures, his administration is quietly collaborating with the Russians to revive the Iran nuclear deal and undermine future U.S. presidents who might withdraw from it, according to experts and former U.S. officials.

"The U.S. has partnered with Russia to get a new nuclear deal with Iran," said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst who also served as a senior staffer on both the House Intelligence Committee and the National Security Council. "This includes secret talks with the Russians over the last year and agreements where Russia would hold uranium enriched by Iran and give it back to Iran if a future Republican president backed out of a new nuclear deal."

Former President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. The agreement, which placed temporary restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions on Iran, was struck in 2015 and implemented in 2016. Many experts and U.S. officials believe Iran seeks to build nuclear weapons — a charge Tehran denies.

"The Biden administration has been working with Russia to get it to undermine a future Republican president by helping Iran's nuclear program," added Fleitz.

Richard Goldberg, who served on the National Security Council and worked as a staffer in Congress for years, noted that under the deal being negotiated "it appears Iran would send enriched uranium stockpiles to Russia on condition Russia would return the stockpile if the U.S. reimposes terrorism sanctions."

Earlier this year, the Biden administration said it was "aware" of a Russian proposal for an interim nuclear deal with Iran without sharing details, causing House Republicans to demand the administration share what it knows.

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