Russia: Iran deal ends need for US shield in Europe

After taking part in the agreement between Iran and six world powers this weekend, Russia’s foreign minister said Monday that a successful nuclear pact with Iran would end the need for a U.S. missile shield in Europe.

“If the Iran deal is put into practice, the stated reason for the construction of the defense shield will no longer apply,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Rome, Russia Today reported.

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U.S. missile defense has been a sore spot in U.S.-Russia relations under both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, even as the Obama administration has scaled back missile defense plans in Europe.

U.S. officials have long said that U.S. missile defense capabilities in Europe are intended to prevent attacks from Iran, and not Russia.

Secretary of State John Kerry said last month that negotiations with Iran won’t change its plans to put land-based interceptors in Poland by 2018.

"We intend to provide for the next phase by 2018 and will deploy that site by that period,” Kerry said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Nothing has changed at this point and I don't foresee it changing."