The Iran P5+1 nuclear deal was once the hottest topic in Washington -- now it seems that no one cares about the fallout and aftermath.
Reported in Iranian newspapers and Russia Today, Iran is now set to join the BRICS New Development Bank, a Russian and Chinese brainchild for boosting a bloc of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) with fresh development capital.
The BRICS group represents about 30 percent of the world's GDP output and 17 percent of world trade. By forming this coalition, the bloc can operate outside of the auspices of the World Bank, as well as other "American" oversight organizations.
This was one of the greatest dangers of the Iran deal: who would they align themselves with after the deal?
China was eager to pump in capital, and Russia was equally ready to resume arms sales. Yet the other members of the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., and France + Germany) were never exactly excited about the prospects of an Iran more fully aligned with Russian and Chinese foreign and trade policies.
The ball was dropped on the West's chances at influencing Iranian development and foreign policy; both the U.S. and European members of the P5+1 have been dealing with considerable internal issues -- the 2016 election in America and the refugee crisis in Europe.
While candidates in the U.S. are debating the theme of what it will take to make America great again, we continue to lose trading partners, allies (and enemies), and business opportunities to the Chinese and Russians.
The Chinese, in one of their worst economic slumps, have determined to "buy" their way out of trouble with capital and trade investments abroad, using their immense war chest of capital to entice advantageous trade agreements.
Russia, led by Vladimir Putin, has made no attempts to hide the fact that they want to restore the glory of the Soviet/Russian Empire.
This is not the first foreign policy disaster of the Obama administration -- disasters that exist outside of the framework left by previous administrations.
We were given a foreign policy gift in the Philippines to re-establish bases and our military's sphere of influence, yet we moved too slowly and the Filipinos sought out the Japanese to bolster their defense.
Likewise in Iran, we could have been in a position to dictate economic and political policy, by merely extending a hand of cooperation and giving them our support as they rejoined the world community. But now, we are stuck in the shadows, with Russia and China now in a position to sharply dictate foreign policy.
At some point, America needs to wake up to the fact that all of the partisan bickering and grandstanding has been a significant cause for our diminishing power on the world stage -- that each side takes swipes at the other when overtures are made to increase foreign relations.
This needs to stop before we run out of favored trading partners and military alliances -- or else we could return to the United States of the 19th century, isolated and unprepared on the world scene.