US committed to missile defence in Europe: Biden

Last Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 20:47

Brussels: US Vice President Joe Biden said
Thursday that Washington remains determined to deploy its planned
anti-missile system in Europe to counter the danger of Iran`s
nuclear program and its long-range ballistic missiles.

"The United States and European Union have stood
side-by-side to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons,"
Biden told the European Parliament.

"Iran`s nuclear program violates its obligations under
NPT and risks sparking a nuclear arms race in the Middle
East." The NPT is the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Obama administration last year scrapped Bush-era
plans for an expensive missile defence network based in Poland
and the Czech Republic.

It replaced them with a more flexible plan to deploy
Patriot air defence missiles in several countries in eastern
Europe and on ships in the Black Sea and Mediterranean.

The original plan strained ties between the United States
and Russia, which saw it as directed against its own ballistic
missiles.

Russia has been somewhat more receptive of the new
program, although it still maintains there is no need for it
at present.

"Wouldn`t it be ironic, as the Iron Curtain fell and the
threats of mutual assured destruction diminished among the
superpowers, a new arms race would emerge in some of the most
unstable parts of the world," Biden said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 20:47

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