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Lavrov: US Missile Shield in Europe threat for Russia, China

Tehran, July 21, IRNA - Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ruling out US claim on Iran threat as cause for plan to put up a missile defense shield in Czech and Poland republics, said, "It is a threat against Russia and China."

Sergei Lavrov (left) and Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki

Speaking on the sidelines of the Persian Gulf Littoral States Foreign Ministers Conference in Tehran, the Russian top diplomat made the comment in reply to a reporter's question on President Vladimir Putin's proposal for establishment of a shared US-Russian missile site in Azerbaijan Republic, instead.

He added, "You are under the influence of the Western propagation."

According to IRNA Political Desk reporter, Lavrov added at the press conference, "As President Putin mentioned during his meeting with the Azeri President, we feel absolutely no threat from Iran's side."

Stressing that the Russian officials have repeatedly announced their strategic and technical status and calculations in that respect, Lavrov reiterated, "There is no threat posed by Iran at all."

Referring to his talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki, Lavrov expressed hope that his explanations in that respect would lead to Iran's thorough understanding of the matter."

During the press conference a reporter asked about Iranian Mottaki's viewpoint on the US plan to set up a missile defense shield in Europe.

He replied, "I asked Mr. Lavrov whether he really believes the US claims that the project is aimed at halting Iran threat, or not. His reply was negative, adding that the project poses a serious threat against Russia and China."

The Iranian FM added, "We too, have the same idea, and that is a cause for serious concern."

Mottaki considered the US move as a sign for Washington's intention to re-start the cold war, arguing, "Our proposal to those countries is to declare seriously that the cold war era is over, and to spend their heavy military budgets at the service of their nations' well being."

Mottaki added, "We believe the bitter experience of the recent years must have proved the fact that resorting to force, imposing wars, and threatening the others yield no fruit for the oppressive powers."

The Iranian Foreign Minister added, "Anyone that has doubts in this respect can take a trip to our region and visit Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East."

Mottaki added, "We hope the worrying matters would be resolved in the favor of the world nations during the meeting between the Russian and US presidents."

Lavrov, too, pointed to a number of matters of great importance after Mottaki's comments, including, "We do not intend to get engaged in another arms race with the United States."

He added, "Russia has let all involved sides know frankly its viewpoints about the US proposed missile defense shield in Europe." Pointing to the talks between the Russian and Azeri presidents, he said, "As they stated, the radars in Azerbaijan have been active for decades, and therefore, there is no need to put up an anti-missile site there."

Lavrov reiterated, "The Russian officials are currently busy preparing a proposal to be put forth during the upcoming Putin-Bush talks.

... Payvand News - 6/21/07 ... --

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