Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation and the chief negotiator of the New START agreement, spoke to the press at the United Nations on Tuesday after a briefing with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on New START at the NPT RevCon. While at the stakeout, she had some interesting things to say about the relationship between New START and the UN Security Council Iran sanctions debate currently underway.
While there is no “direct” link between the treaty and the sanctions debate on Iran, Gottemoeller said that the boost in the US-Russian relationship helps other efforts in which the two countries are involved.
When pressed to clarify whether or not she was referring to sanctions against Iran and the increasing willingness of Russia to cooperate with efforts of the US, UK, and France on the Security Council, she elaborated that the new treaty is a sign that the US-Russian relationship is in a new era — and has been ever since the “reset” at the beginning of the Obama administration came into office — and:
Therefore there will be beneficial influence on issues of mutual concern. Certainly Iran is one of them.
Indeed, Presidents Medvedev and Obama talked on the phone today about two things: New START and the P5+1 progress on a UN Security Council resolution on Iran.
It is increasingly looking like a sanctions resolution will be introduced at the Security Council in a few weeks.
Gottemoeller also told reporters that both the US and Russian negotiating teams “already have our tasking from our presidents to move on towards further reductions” and that informal discussions about where to go further would include non-strategic (tactical) and non-deployed weapons as items on the agenda.