Obama's Continued Dance With Russia
  The rationale of President Barack Obama's proposed deal with Russia is puzzling. The U.S. would scrap its planned missile defense system in Eastern Europe, if Russia gets tough on Iran's assumed nuclear development. If Moscow's new, hard stance succeeds, so goes the logic of the deal, then Tehran's assumed nuclear weapons program will be halted and there will be no need for a missile defense system anyway.

As I wrote before, you can't really use something as a bargaining chip that you have already publicly disavowed. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, even before coming into office, stated their skepticism about missile defense. Trying to use it now as bargaining chip is not convincing.
Having said that, it's also not in Russia's interest that Iran acquires nuclear weapons, a move that would drastically alter the power equation in an important part of what Russia considers to be its sphere of influence. What's more, Iran, as the country with the second largest gas reserves after Russia, is also Moscow's only competitor as Europe's major gas supplier, which is another reason why Russia may not want to be supporting Iran too much.
If Russia, in light of recent developments, decided that it ultimately doesn't want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and the U.S. decided that it doesn't really want to set up a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, why are they delivering secret letters instead of simply getting together, aligning their interests and striking a deal? Perhaps Washington and Moscow are just continuing their diplomatic dance. Kremlinologists and Obamaists please feel free to elaborate.   
Michael Knigge 03.03.2009, 21:26 # 1 Comment
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  Michael, it could just be that the United States is clearing the way for eliminating Iran's capabilities. "We even went to the Russians with a sweetheart deal, and they wouldn't help. We had to do it, therefore."  
  robert.f.hamilton | Homepage | E-Mail | 08.03.2009, 14:41