A picture taken on April 9, 1992 shows a Russian S300 missile burning away from its pad in Priozorsk during a training launch. Russia on December 22, 2008 denied that it was delivering sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, following reports it was about to supply the weapons to the US arch-foe.

“The lights are turning red,” droned the song by the Eagles. They could have been singing about Iran, which continues to make US foreign policy look like a bad Saturday Night Live skit.

In last minute deal making with Russia over sanctions on Iran, the US caved to Moscow objections over selling advanced air and cruise missile defenses to Tehran. This is a particularly disruptive retreat by Obama’s State Department, one that makes an Israeli military strike more, not less, likely.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to play rope-a-dope. The speaker of Iran’s Parliament declared their deal with Brazil and Turkey was off if United Nations sanctions were on. His country would abandon plans to ship some nuclear fuel to Turkey and rethink cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if the US insists on pushes new UN Security Council sanctions.

The US needs a real policy to deal with Iran before its too late.