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Russia says Iran poses no threat

RIA Novosti

16/08/2007 20:21 BISHKEK, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia sees no threat emanating from Iran, the "rogue state" the United States is building its missile shield in Europe against, the Russian foreign minister said Thursday.

The U.S. announced in January plans to place a radar and a host of interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic to fend off what Washington sees as a growing missile threat from "rogue states," including Iran.

"In analyzing the Iranian leader's statement and the quite precise information at our disposal, we can see no such long-term threat," Sergei Lavrov told the media on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) underway in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier Thursday that the deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe threatened not only Iran but also the whole of Eurasia.

Asked when Russian and U.S. experts would hold a second round of consultations on the proposed U.S. missile shield, the minister said: "In September."

Lavrov also said that although Russia and China had not yet considered cooperation in missile defense, the two countries "share a vision of how to provide security." "We and China are analyzing the U.S. global missile defense plans targeting Europe and the East," the diplomat said.

The SCO, a regional group largely seen as a counterweight to U.S. influence in Asia, comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and has Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia as observers.

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