22:19 GMT20 September 2020
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    Former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns claims that Russian objections to US missile defense systems are out of place despite the nuclear non-proliferation agreement reached with Iran.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Russian objections to US missile defense systems are out of place despite the nuclear non-proliferation agreement reached with Iran, former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told Sputnik.

    “I do not think the Russian objections [to US missile defense systems] make sense… I think Russia is wrong to object,” Burns said on Tuesday.

    US officials have repeatedly assured Russia that the development and placement of ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems in Poland and Romania are intended to target Iran and North Korea, not Russia.

    On Tuesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued for the obsolescence of US BMD systems targeting Iran, in light of the nuclear agreement reached on Tuesday.

    Burns added that the United States “has the right” to develop sophisticated missile defenses “given the threat from Iran and given the threat from North Korea.”

    In response to Russian concerns, the US State Department said on Tuesday that the deal with Iran does not eliminate the need for European BMD systems.

    US intelligence officials have testified that Iran is developing the capability to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. The contentious issue of Iran’s alleged development of an ICBM was not included in the nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries reached on Tuesday.


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