Judging from Donald Trump’s campaign posturing, his Big Three foreign policy views go something like this: Russia can be wooed, Iran needs to be slammed, and China’s economic and strategic reach must be tamed.

But what happens when they all start to overlap? A series of initiatives and announcements Monday pointed to the deepening interplay between Iran, China and Russia — and offered an early lesson to the Trump administration on the slippery reality of the world.

One maxim Trump will quickly learn: Washington now has very limited power to isolate and punish Iran. Trump may be able to follow through on pledges to tear up the U.S. portion of last year’s nuclear deal, which seeks to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions.

But that leaves America’s other five negotiating partners — including Russia and China — sticking with the program and making deals with Iran.

Business projects with Iran are already in motion with France and other European Union nations. (Germany, France and Britain also were part of the nuclear talks). In Brussels, E.U. foreign ministers made an indirect jab at Trump on Monday by reaffirming support for the nuclear accord, which the president-elect has branded as the “worst deal in the world.”

Read the whole story from the Washington Post.

Featured image courtesy of BBC.