ISIS Iran Report

U.S. farmers to the rescue of nuclear diplomacy?

August 26, 2008

U.S. farmers to the rescue of moribund nuclear diplomacy?  Probably not just yet.  But perhaps unbeknownst to the wonks who follow Iran’s nuclear program, severe drought has plagued Iran’s wheat crop this year, forcing it to rely more heavily on imports.  Last week a Stratfor analysis (subscription only but possible to find content republished on other sites) suggested that higher food prices could lead to political instability in Iran, and even undermine Iran’s perceived upper-hand with the United States, with food shortages providing a “fertile ground for a rapprochement between the two countries.”  Now there is news that for the first time in 27 years, Iran is buying significant quantities of wheat directly from the United States.  Citing the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AFP reports today that Iran has purchased more than 1 million tonnes of U.S. wheat since June and continues buying.  What’s more, that number “represents nearly 5 percent of U.S. annual exports forecast by the USDA.”  And now GeorgiaNewsweek’s Christopher Dickey notes that while over the short term Iran is likely to benefit from the U.S. focus on Russia as the country which actually has thousands of nuclear weapons targeting U.S. cities, over the longer term, U.S. and Iranian strategic interests in the region viz. Russia correspond, and it would be smart for the next U.S. administration to make the most of this.  (Dickey notes that “for centuries, whenever Russia has thrashed around in the Caucasus or in Central Asia, the Persians have been among the first to feel the bear’s hot breath.”)

email us twitter Share on Facebook