Tehran shrugs off U.S. bid to woo Russia

February 23, 2009 - 0:0

Tehran says U.S. efforts to strike a deal with the Kremlin over a controversial missile shield in Europe ‘is no cause for concern’.

Iran’s Defense Minister, Mohammad Najjar, said Sunday the country is not worried by Washington’s attempts to use its missile plans as a means to buy Moscow’s support for tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The U.S. officialdom has strived to portray Iran’s uranium enrichment program, missile development and space quest as threats to world stability in an attempt to justify its plans to station 10 silo-based missiles in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic.
Moscow has strongly objected the U.S. missile bid, and has threatened to deploy short-range Iskander-M missiles on the Polish border in response.
“Russian officials are well aware that Moscow, rather than Iran, is the target of Washington’s missile plans,” said Najjar, adding that the project also seeks to drive a wedge between Russia and European countries.
Najjar predicted that the United States, mired in an all-out financial meltdown, would eventually avoid the unnecessary cost of a missile project.
Talks of the Bush-era missile plan in Eastern Europe have been a subject of fierce debate over the past few weeks, pushing Washington-Moscow relations to the lowest ebb since the Cold War.
The Obama administration has said it will go ahead with the deployment --- only if it is proven to work and is cost-effective.
A senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity recently said that Washington would slow down its missile plans on the condition that Moscow joins the White House in pressuring Tehran over its nuclear activities.
The offer, however, was brushed aside by senior Russian officials. “The Kremlin sees no reason to change its policy toward Iran,” Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexei Borodavkin, was quoted as saying on Sunday.
(Source: Press TV)