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Gates: Putin once told me Iran was Russia’s biggest threat

An otherwise mind-numbing cable recounting a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Herve Morin, his French counterpart — which my colleague Josh Rogin wrote about last week — contains this nugget: Recalling that Russian Prime Minister Putin once told him Iran was Russia’s greatest threat, SecDef noted that Russia could plug into the ...

An otherwise mind-numbing cable recounting a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Herve Morin, his French counterpart — which my colleague Josh Rogin wrote about last week — contains this nugget:

Recalling that Russian Prime Minister Putin once told him Iran was Russia’s greatest threat, SecDef noted that Russia could plug into the new [missile-defense] system.

There’s also this bit, which echoes what Gates has said in public:

Morin asked SecDef [Gates] if he believed Israel had the capability to strike Iran without U.S. support. SecDef responded that he didn’t know if they would be successful, but that Israel could carry out the operation. SecDef told Morin that he believed a conventional strike by any nation would only delay Iranian plans by one to three years, while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.

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