'Iran poses no missile threat to Europe'
Islam Times - Iran has dismissed US claims that Washington's missile defense plan is designed to counter possible missile strikes from Tehran, saying the Islamic Republic poses no threat to any regional or far-off state.
Islam Times reports from Press TV: “We think that independent governments and the world public opinion can best make a judgment as to which countries are the main targets of the missile shield plan and what objectives the US is pursuing [through such plans],” Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
“Our country's military might is aimed at defending our territorial integrity and supporting regional peace and stability, and it poses no threat to regional countries or distant countries,” he added.
The US has been insisting on deploying a missile system in Eastern Europe near the Russian border to allegedly counter possible missile threats from Iran and North Korea against Europe.
The Russian president's special envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has rejected claims spearheaded by the United States that Iran is a military threat to Europe.
In a television interview in June, the Kremlin's ambassador to NATO described the claim as a provocative myth and stated that Moscow would never identify Iran as a missile threat.
Rogozin also questioned the motives behind the United States' proposal to establish an anti-missile shield in Eastern Europe.
Russia has long opposed the disputed plan, arguing that the would-be missile system in its "back yard” is not to secure Washington's European allies but is effectively aimed at Russia.
Moscow has called for shared control of any anti-missile shield, saying the aim of the Eastern European system is to encircle Russia, but Washington refuses to share the responsibility for protecting NATO member states with any third party.
NATO favors two separate but coordinated missile defense systems that would be comprised of NATO and Russian systems.
However, Moscow insists on a European system together with the alliance, with joint centers for detecting threats and a joint decision-making procedure.
Russia has warned that if NATO pushes ahead with its plans and no agreement is reached with Moscow, it will develop its own missile shield.
Story Code: 89076