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Trump’s Iran decision gives gift to Putin

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Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord has brought a bonus for the Kremlin. The U.S. president’s Iran action means that Vladimir Putin could make up with the soaring price of oil – the real backbone of the Russian economy and his hold on power – for what he lost from the sanctions.

True, Putin hasn’t (yet) gotten rid of the sanctions levied by Congress on Russia and reluctantly implemented by Trump. But the Russian president must be reveling in the fact that his U.S. counterpart has caused just the sort of havoc in the United States and splits across the Western alliance that Putin wanted.

Let’s tote it up. Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, effectively empowering China; has been the only nation to pull out of both the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal; and has threatened Washington’s closest allies with a series of debilitating tariffs. And then there's all the chaos that the investigation into Russian election meddling has managed to produce in the United States, while at the same time allowing Kremlin specialists to hone their chops on tactics that can be applied elsewhere around the world.

But the real, most tangible and most immediate impact is in the numbers – specifically the windfall Russia has reaped as........

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