Report: Obama Offers to Scrap Missile Shield If Russia Cooperates on Iran

President Obama offered to consider scrapping plans for a missile defense shield in Europe if Russia helps rein in Iran's nuclear program, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported. 

The article said Obama wrote to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to tell him Russia's aid in resolving the threat from Iran would make the missile shield plans unnecessary, according to an account from Russian news agency RIA Novosti. 

A senior administration official told FOX News that Obama sent a letter to Medvedev but "we won't comment on the specifics." 

Obama inherited plans to build the system in Poland and the Czech Republic from the Bush administration, but the new administration has equivocated over the project. Though the plans were put in place to deter nations like Iran and North Korea from launching attacks and developing nuclear weapons, Russia has interpreted the planned installation as a threat. 

The senior administration official said the U.S. will continue to "consult with the Czech Republic and Poland on the program," but will also continue to review the plan. 

"We'll be evaluating the future of the program based on a number of factors ... whether it will work, whether it will be cost-effective, whether it will reduce the threat and whether that threat can be reduced though diplomacy with Russia and our NATO allies," the official said. 

Reuters reported last month that the Obama administration would at least review the plans for a missile defense shield in Europe, provided Russia helps curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. 

Clinton is expected to meet with Russia's foreign minister in Geneva later this week. 

State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said last month that the U.S. wants to "engage" Russia on the issue of the missile defense and review their proposals to "counter missiles from rogue states."