Romania summons Iran diplomat over missile shield comment

20th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Iran's ambassador to Bucharest was summoned by Romanian authorities on Monday to explain claims in a news interview that US plans to build a missile shield were directed at Russia.

"Bajador Aminian Jazi was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and asked for clarifications," a press release said.

"The Romanian side stressed that such statements are not constructive. The system is a purely defensive one and cannot therefore be aimed against any country."

In an interview with HotNews website, the diplomat had said that Iran did not see the deployment of US missile interceptors in Romania as a threat.

"We believe the anti-missile shield is not aimed against us. We don't have a nuclear programme targeting any other country, our missiles are defensive only," he said.

However, he added, "you are importing Russian gas. I think that in the future, given also this anti-missile system, you will have some problems with them."

Jazi said this project dated back to 1984, when it was drawn up "to annihilate the Soviet Union's supremacy".

"Yes, (it is directed) against Russia," he added.

Bucharest and Washington last month concluded talks on the deployment of 24 US missile interceptors at a former airbase in south Romania, insisting on the project's purely defensive purpose.

But Russia said it would seek legal guarantees that the shield was not directed against its strategic nuclear forces.

© 2011 AFP

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