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No truth behind Russian-Iran missile shield - NATO envoy

RIA Novosti

19:00 30/09/2011 MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's envoy to NATO on Friday dismissed as "false" media reports that Russia and Iran planned to set up a joint missile defense shield as a counterweight to a similar system planned by NATO in Europe.

"I read such an article in an Iranian paper. But it's false," Rogozin told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"We can only hold talks on such a sensitive issue that relates to our strategic security and national nuclear forces with our military allies. The member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are our allies," he went on.

"With all due respect to Iran, this country is our neighbor, our partner in many issues, but not a military ally."

Bucharest announced on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the United States to deploy a U.S. missile interceptor system at a defunct Soviet airbase on its territory. Moscow issued an urgent request for legal guarantees from the United States that the system will not target Russia's strategic nuclear forces.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

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