MOSCOW, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe lost sense after Tehran and six world powers reached a deal on Iran's nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
"We believe that the solving of issues regarding Iranian nuclear program must lead to re-thinking of the concept of U.S. anti-missile defense in Europe," Lavrov told a meeting in the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament.
Lavrov said the reason Washington used to justify the deployment of the missile shield ceased to exist after the Iranian nuclear issue was temporarily solved.
Iran and the six countries -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- struck a deal in Geneva on Nov. 24, in which Iran agreed to freeze part of its nuclear program in exchange for limited ease of sanctions which had hurt its economy.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the phrase "missile defense" is misleading as the system is a part of NATO's offensive strategic potential.
On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, that the United States and its allies would continue implementing missile defense plans in Europe despite the temporary Iranian deal.
Also on Monday, Russia confirmed that it had deployed its tactical Iskander-M missiles along the borders with NATO countries.
In 2011, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would station Iskander missiles in western Kaliningrad and southern Krasnodar regions should the United States go ahead with its missile shield program in Europe.
U.S. reiterates need to continue missile deployment in Europe despite Iran deal
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu on Monday the U.S. and its allies would continue implementing missiles defense plans in Europe despite the temporary deal to resolve Iran's nuclear dispute.
During his first video teleconference with Shoygu, Hagel said the Iran deal reached by the P5+1 group last month in Geneva "does not eliminate the need for U.S. and European allies to continue implementing missile defense plans in Europe," Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog said in a statement. Full story