Washington has told Moscow that Russian help in resolving Iran’s nuclear program would make its missile shield plans for Europe unnecessary, a Russian daily said on Monday, citing White House sources.
U.S. President Barack Obama made the proposal on Iran in a letter to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, Kommersant said, referring to unidentified U.S. officials…
Moscow has not yet responded to the proposal by Obama, the paper said, adding that a decision was unlikely to be made during Lavrov and Clinton’s meeting.
A senior U.S. official confirms that a letter was sent but won’t say what was in it. No surprise that The One’s ready for rapprochement with Russia: As I recall, part of the left’s logic last summer in kinda sorta defending Russian action in Georgia was that the U.S. had forced a confrontational posture on the Kremlin by pursuing missile defense and integrating eastern European countries into NATO. If, unlike me, you take that logic seriously and believe that Vladimir Putin’s ambitions are mainly defensive, it makes sense to de-escalate even at the cost of leaving some of those eastern European countries exposed. Two questions, though: How, exactly, is Russia going to help, and what happens to the missile shield if Iran ends up with the bomb anyway? If this is a way to get them to be more rigorous in applying UN sanctions internally, that’s great, but is there any reason to believe that’ll stop Iran’s nuke program rather than just slow it down? And if the effort fails, do we then get to install the shield without Russian protest? That would, at least, create a meaningful incentive for them to help. Exit question: Maybe Geraghty’s wrong about all Obama campaign promises coming with an expiration date, huh?