By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
There are some rather out of the ordinary interactions happening of late between Iran, the United States and Russia.
The United States is deeply concerned about an oil for goods barter involving Iran and Russia. The deal would allow for a $1.5 billion monthly swap.
According to the White House, US Secretary of State John Kerry shared the US concern directly with his colleague, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on Monday when the two were in Paris working out the details of a conference on Syria which is scheduled to take place on January 22.
The biggest worry is that this barter could be considered a violation of the P5+1 agreement with Iran. If it is, it could trigger new US sanctions against Iran, sanctions that Congress has already prepared - just in case of a scenario like this.
If this barter deal goes through, everything everybody has been working so hard for could just fall apart. But Kerry is hopeful.
Kerry is also generous. He gave Lavrov a special present in a modest size box yesterday. It was a box of 2 Idaho potatoes. While speaking during the break Lavrov mentioned his love of the Idaho potatoes, so Kerry gave him a few.
We are told that there is no symbolism there. No symbolism at all. I do not care if this is or there isn't, but if there is - I don't see it.
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