MOSCOW, March 6 (UPI) -- The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has overestimated the influence Russia has on Iran, a Russian security analyst says.
Alexander Khramchikhin, an Institute for Political and Military Analysis researcher, said Russia has little clout in regards to stopping Iran from developing a nuclear program with military aspirations, The Moscow Times reported Friday.
"Veto power in the security council is the only, and very limited, means Russia has to influence Iran," Khramchikhin said, referring to Russia's U.N. Security Council veto power.
Obama contacted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by letter three weeks ago to say he wants to discuss Iran's desire to work with Russia in nuclear projects.
Obama said Tuesday that a hindered Iranian nuclear program would limit the need for a U.S. missile defense system in Central Europe, a point of controversy between U.S. and Russian officials, the Times said.
"Obviously, to the extent we are lessening Iran's commitment to nuclear weapons, then that reduces the pressure for, or the need for a missile defense system," the head of state said.