Hello, and welcome back to The Best & The Brightest, your Tuesday foreign policy dispatch.
Before we get to the main story—Ukraine and Russian nuclear escalation—I wanted to talk about the deal the Biden administration reached last week to free five Americans imprisoned in Iran. The Americans will first be moved from Evin prison to a hotel, where they will be held until they get on a plane to the U.S. In exchange, about $6 billion of frozen Iranian funds will be released, as will, apparently, a few Iranians currently behind bars in America for violating sanctions.
Notes on the Iran Deal…
The night before the deal was announced, not realizing what was afoot, I happened to be having dinner with my friend Jason Rezaian, who was himself a hostage in Iran for nearly 18 months until he was freed in January 2016. Jason was periodically checking his phone because...
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There is now a clear consensus that the White House sees the risk of Putin going nuclear as lower today than even a few months ago, encouraging Biden officials to tacitly approve Ukrainian tactics that they once feared would trigger a counterattack on NATO, or worse.
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