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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Iran 'threat' exaggerated : US lawmaker

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 14:40:08 GMT | PressTV

Democratic congresswoman Ellen Tauscher is a candidate for a top nonproliferation post in the Obama administration. She believes "an Iranian threat" has been exaggerated.
A US lawmaker says an Iranian missile 'threat' has been exaggerated as the White House moves to reconsider a defense shield in Europe.

The White House, under the rule of former President George W. Bush, used the 'threat' from Iran's long-range missile program to push its agenda and deploy a missile defense system in Europe.

Democratic congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, a candidate for a top nonproliferation post in the Obama administration, said that the threat has been blown out of proportion.

“The argument that the U.S. would be naked against an Iranian threat unless we deploy the GMD system in Europe is simply not right,” Tauscher told a conference on missile defense.

Tauscher, who has been asked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to serve as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said that advocates of the European plans "have been running around with their hair on fire," the Associated Press reported.

The proposed plans, comprising of 10 two-stage interceptor missiles in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic, have in recent time hit relations between Moscow and Washington.

Russia is critical of the missile defense shield, saying it will encroach on its national interests and undermine its nuclear deterrent.

The Obama White House, which is extending an olive branch to the Kremlin with the hope of 'resetting' strained ties, is reportedly willing to reconsider the missile defense plans if the threat from Iran ebbs away.

Iran says its medium- and long-range missile program is conventional and aimed at guaranteeing its national sovereignty. Russia, meanwhile, holds its own opinion toward the Iranian "missile threat".

"No sensible person believes in fairy tales about the Iranian missile threat, and that thousands of kilometers from Tehran on the coast of the Baltic Sea, it is necessary to station a missile interceptor system," Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said in November.

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