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Obama Seeks Russia, Chinas Help On Iran: Sidebar Discussion During Trade Summit
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Obama Seeks Russia, Chinas Help on Iran: Sidebar Discussion During Trade Summit

President Barack Obama was at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Honolulu to meet with the leaders of several nations in regards to expanding trade with those nations. While there, he also held several side discussions in regard to mounting concerns that Iran is developing nuclear weapon capability despite frequent denials that that is the case.

On Tuesday, the United Nation's nuclear monitoring watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a disturbing report that belied those denials. That report concluded that Iran was in the act of researching, designing and or testing nuclear weapon capabilities. Iran has denied those allegations saying that the US and its allies are creating these stories to serve its own purposes. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stood by the assertion that Iran's nuclear program is only being used for the country's energy production and for research purposes.

Obama talked to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev privately in hopes of coming to a common approach to the ongoing situation with Iran. During the summit, President Obama also talked to China's Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda about the same issue. The President also spoke to the leaders individually about Afghanistan and Syria with the latter being of major concern.

Russia may be looking to gain entrance into the World Trade Organization in the coming year. If that does happen, US Congress will have a vote which can change the trade relations between the two countries and may change the way that trades are carried out. Russia had been denied that trade status following a 1974 cold war law enacted while the Soviet Union was still a major threat. The law, called the Jackson-Vanik Act was meant to convince the Soviets to allow citizens, especially Russian jews to leave without reprisals.

The President also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Noda about a plan to expand imports of American beef to that nation, ending long term restrictions. Noda expressed a great interest in expanding trade between the US and Japan as well as other nations and said that there would be no product or service that would be off the table as they continued to negotiate new trade deals.

After the dissention between Russia, China and the US in Libya before that nation's regime change had been completed, it is important that all of the nations are on the same page in regards to Iran. Russian and Chinese leaders had expressed disdain for NATO"S handling of its mission in that country, saying that it had overstepped the scope of the original agreement.


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