MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US State Department spokesman John Kirby on Thursday criticized a remark by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that suggested the US president had concealed the truth in promising not to develop a missile defense system in Europe after sealing a nuclear deal with Iran.
On April 5, 2009, Obama stated that if the Iranian threat was eliminated, the US would have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for new missile defense construction in Europe would be removed.
"FM Lavrov wrong on European missile defense. POTUS always said missile defense needed against Iranian missile threat, not just nukes," Kirby wrote on his Twitter account.
FM Lavrov wrong on European missile defense. POTUS always said missile defense needed against Iranian missile threat, not just nukes.— John Kirby (@statedeptspox) 6 августа 2015
The United States has repeatedly claimed that the ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe were intended to counter threats from Iran, while Russia regards them as a threat to its national security.
In light of the nuclear agreement struck between Tehran and the P5+1 negotiators in mid-July, Lavrov questioned the validity of the presence of US missile defense systems in Europe.