Fred Kaplan makes a powerful case that the Wikileaks documents show the Obama administration in a good light. How Obama got China and Russia to back sanctions against Iran:
In the case of China, Obama dispatched Dennis Ross, a White House adviser who had been the Middle East negotiator for Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush (but who had no post in his son's administration), to persuade Saudi Arabia to guarantee that it would supply oil to the Chinese if Iran cut them off. As a result of that assurance, China signed up for sanctions.
In the case of the Russians, Obama placated their distress over Bush's plan to install missile-defense systems on Eastern European soil by canceling the plan. As a result of that move, which triggered a whole "re-setting" of relations between Moscow and Washington, Russia joined the sanctions as well. (Obama didn't abandon missile defenses; he only relocated the interceptors onto ships, which had the additional benefit of clarifying that they really were aimed to shoot down Iranian missiles, not Russian ones.)
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