P5+1, Iran deal ends need for US missile shield

P5+1, Iran deal ends need for US missile shield: Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that an international deal with Iran over its nuclear program will in the long run eliminate any need for a missile defense system in Europe.
Lavrov told reporters after a meeting Wednesday with NATO counterparts there’s ‘‘no reason’’ for the missile defense plan if that deal is implemented fully.
American officials claimed earlier the missile defenses they wanted to install in Europe would protect NATO allies and counter any threat from Iran. Russia has long opposed the plan, and sees the system as a threat to the viability of Russia’s own nuclear arsenal as a deterrent.
In Geneva last month, leading world powers reached a deal with Iran over its peaceful nuclear plan and endorsed the enrichment rights for its peaceful purposes.
Lavrov’s German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, also noted a connection between the Iran nuclear agreement and the missile defense.
‘‘What we have been able to achieve so far on the Iranian nuclear program gives us hope in other contexts, too — also on the difficult issue of missile defense,’’ he told reporters in Brussels. ‘‘Because one thing is obvious, that there is a connection here.’’
‘‘The more progress we can achieve on the Iranian nuclear program, the greater the effects are regarding the missile defense program’’ and the chance of overcoming ‘‘difficulties’’ with Russia on it, Westerwelle said.
Iran has categorically ruled out the West’s allegations on its nuclear program, emphasizing that the program is aimed only for the peaceful purposes.

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