The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee believes the time is ripe for the US to pursue with Russia a joint missile defense effort aimed at deterring Iran.
Sen. Carl Levin on Friday said he has spoken about the issue with the new administration, including a private conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as with some Russian officials.
The senior Democrat said there is potential for a "real breakthrough" in the US relationship with Russia, which has been strained over the US program to build radars in Eastern Europe.
The key, he said, is to focus on US and Russia's shared desire to prevent Iran from building nuclear-armed missiles.
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