03:48 GMT05 August 2020
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    The recent decision by Washington to continue deploying elements of missile defense systems in Europe even after the historic nuclear deal with Iran was reached, confirmed Russia's "worst fears," Russian envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Last week, Iran and six world powers reached an agreement obliging Tehran to guarantee the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Shortly after the deal was signed, National Security Advisor to the US Vice President Colin Kahl said that the US ballistic missile defense systems were still necessary in Europe despite the agreement.

    Following the move, Moscow expressed concerns over the purposes of US missile defense systems in Europe, which Russia sees as a threat to its national security.

    “Europe is an empty shell when it comes to the draft of the European missile defense system, because it is an exclusively US initiative… Now there is a reasonable question: if Iran is no longer a threat, even if neither a partner nor an enemy, then what’s the use of [missile defense system] construction? The US stance on the issue is notable and confirms our worst fears," Chizhov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel.

    The European Union does not have a clear and common position on the issue, and it did not exist either even before the deal with Tehran was reached, the diplomat added.

    Before the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, comprising Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, was reached, the West had long been accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful nuclear program, and imposed severe sanctions against the country.

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    Tags:
    missile defense system, P5+1, Vladimir Chizhov, Iran
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