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Russian FM Says Iran Missile Tests Prove US Shield 'Not Needed'

By VOA News

Russia's foreign minister says Iran's missile tests this week show a planned U.S. missile defense system in Europe is unnecessary, because Tehran's rockets cannot travel that far.

Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow Friday that the tests confirm Iran has missiles with a range up to 2,000 kilometers and that a missile defense shield in Europe is not needed to monitor or react to them.

Lavrov said issues linked to Iran should be resolved through negotiations and political and diplomatic means, not threats.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement in Prague that will allow Washington to put part of a missile defense system on Czech soil.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Moscow is very upset by the deal and warned it will consider countermeasures if the United States goes ahead with the plan.

The United States says the missile defense system is aimed at averting a possible missile strike from Iran. Russia calls the system a threat to its security and has warned it will react militarily, if the system is deployed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 07/11/08 ... --

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