Hillary Clinton on Missile Defense in Central Europe
Last week we blogged about a “secret letter” President Barack Obama sent to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offering to renege on our agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic to build missile defense shields in exchange for Russia helping us keep Iran in check.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to be approaching the situation from a different angle. According to the Associated Press, Clinton talked about the need for protection against Iran but didn’t mention taking our deals with Central Europe off the table. She said the need for missile defense in the region would not be as urgent if Iran were deterred from developing nuclear weapons.
On a tour of the Middle East and Europe, Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss relations between the two countries. She reiterated that missile defense was necessary and that Iran is among those countries considered a threat. While Obama hopes for a “dialogue” with the rogue state, Clinton said she doubted Iran would be interested in such a discussion.
Russia has made clear that any missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic will be seen as a hostile move, although the U.S. has assured Russia that the bases would protect the region from attacks by countries like Iran and North Korea. Although Russia said it would retaliate by deploying missiles to the Polish border, Medvedev has since backed off from that threat.