March 3, 2009

Obama Offered Deal to Russians in Secret Letter

Posted: 07:23 AM ET

WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday.

The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago. It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

The officials who described the contents of the message requested anonymity because it has not been made public. While they said it did not offer a direct quid pro quo, the letter was intended to give Moscow an incentive to join the United States in a common front against Iran. Russia’s military, diplomatic and commercial ties to Tehran give it some influence there, but it has often resisted Washington’s hard line against Iran.


Filed under: International • Iran • President Obama

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Irene, TX   March 3rd, 2009 9:55 am ET

So these "officials" have been leaking top secret information and blabbing about President's secret letters? Mind it, I insist that content, or country, or anything else is entirely beside my point... Hmmm... Are they still "officials'? It is my understanding that they should be in jail by now. Think hard before screaming about public right to know. I guess these officials also want him to fail and fire up the same dumba** base that now might start yelling "he is paling up with commies"...

charlene young   March 3rd, 2009 10:34 am ET

nobody even compares to larry king....will he be having a show regarding paul harvey?

sean brizendine   March 3rd, 2009 11:57 am ET

larry we should cut a deal with russia because in reality the cold war is over and it is not coming back so we should move forward with them.
"sean in santa rosa"

Gary Chandler in Canada   March 3rd, 2009 12:30 pm ET

From tne "Read More" 15th the paragraph of the NY Times article, >>>
“If through strong diplomacy with Russia and our other partners we can reduce or eliminate that threat[Iran nuclear], it obviously shapes the way at which we look at missile defense,” Under Secretary of State William J. Burns said about the Iranian threat in an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax while in Moscow last month delivering Mr. Obama’s letter.
A bit of GOOD NEWS! for a change!
Am I the only one who sees the humor in the Poles and Czechs protesting the halt of the military installations in their countries???
--–>>> """If the United States were to slow or halt deployment of the systems, Warsaw and Prague might insist on other incentives."""
Can somebody explain how they could INSIST on other incentives and what those 'incentives' might be??

Gary Chandler in Canada   March 3rd, 2009 12:39 pm ET

""" Irene, TX March 3rd, 2009 9:55 am ET
So these “officials” have been leaking top secret information and blabbing ..? … Are they still “officials’? It is my understanding that they should be in jail by now. Think hard before screaming ..."""
@@@ Irene
It is likely the 'officials' are the balloon releasors, trial balloons that is. Every political organization uses this technique to get public and opposition reaction.
This is a very good and hopeful story of Russian and American cooperation in the Region.
[Now if Russia would agree to help in Afghanistan!?? that would make one say hmmmmmmmmmm........]

Char   March 3rd, 2009 12:48 pm ET

The letters aren't secret if they were blabbed to the media.

Ken   March 3rd, 2009 1:24 pm ET

Problem: Russia's petroleum based economy is hurting. The Russians are buddies with Iran because they can sell military equipment to them. Not sure the Russians can afford to stop supplying Iran.

david   March 3rd, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I think this what we need to do. I don't care what kind of missle defense Poland has it not going to stop Russia from over running it if wants too. So this will save us Billion by not deploying this system.

Samuel Cervantes   March 3rd, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Obama showed absolute weakness by asking russia to solve our problems

Michael   March 3rd, 2009 9:52 pm ET

What can the GOP do when in fact Obma is in there for 4 yrs . And in fact the DEM has the comgess for 2 more yrs!!!! The congress didn't pass the BEST bill for the Bail-out,BUT in fact the Bush leaved the nation in a mess. NO ONE but NO ONE want to remember that!! LET the Pres do his job. And for the congress. To me they're doing the best they can!!! YES the Bill isn't PREFECT. But we don't have time for IF I WAS IN OFFICE OR IF THE REPS WERE IN THERE!! Let's just see how the country tuns out!! You have to stop and think, Obama got in there ans got to work.. BUT NO ONE want to say that The country to me will be fine in about 1 year to year and a half SO the first bill take it's toll MY GOD IT'S NOT a month old

Eric   March 3rd, 2009 10:23 pm ET

Never sleep with the enemy, it will turn around and bite you in the rearend!

ivana   March 4th, 2009 12:11 am ET

if it will help America then it;s good

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