US missiles for Russia not Iran

A German politician says the US missile-shield was based in Eastern Europe because it is a provocation against Russia and unrelated to Iran.

The leader of the Social Democrats in Germany Parliament, Kurt Beck said this week that his party didn't want to witness a "new arms race" between the US and Russia on European territory.

Moscow insisted that the US was using the shield to build a ring of steel around Russia and undermine its nuclear deterrent, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused the claim. "This is a system that is defensive and is not aimed at anyone," she said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev emphsized last week that Moscow understands the intent of the missile sites is to press Russia.

The parliamentary leader of the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) fraction, Olaf Scholz, said Wednesday that it was too early to raise the issue of a defense shield against an Iranian threat.

"There are no missiles in Iran that could reach Germany and Europe. It is unclear when this technological ability will be achieved," he said.

He added that while there is no urgent threat, the time should be used to discuss the shield within NATO and the European Union.

The missile defense system itself will comprise 10 interceptor missiles in Poland plus a radar facility in the neighboring Czech Republic that complements a system already in place in the US, Greenland and Britain.

[Source: Press TV, Irn, 21Aug08]

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