US missiles stay in Poland despite Iran deal

US anti-missile systems will be placed in Poland despite world powers reaching an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, John A. Heffern, US Deputy Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, said.

“The deal with Tehran doesn’t include missiles, therefore the threat remains,” Heffern told Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper Tuesday, adding that he was speaking about Iranian rockets without nuclear warheads.

According to the US diplomat, the construction of AMD components in the village of Redzikowo near the northern Polish town of Slupsk starts next year – as scheduled – and will be completed in 2018.

Washington’s plans to install anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe have been one of the biggest stumbling blocks in US-Russia relations.

Moscow refused to believe American explanations that the shield is needed to counter a possible attack from nuclear-capable Iran, considering it a threat to Russia’s national security.

After Tehran agreed to curb its controversial nuclear program in exchange of easing of international sanction, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that Washington’s AMD plans had no justification anymore.

“We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague [US] President [Barack] Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system would disappear,” Lavrov stated at a press conference in Vienna.

Meanwhile rearmament of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) with the newest Yars mobile missile system is planned to be completed by 2021. Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman for RVSN Dmitry Andreyev told TASS on Thursday that a division of the Yoshkar-Ola RVSN formation will be transferred to the Yars system in 2016.

In the next few years, the Topol mobile missile systems will remain at the heart of Russia’s “nuclear shield.”

About a hundred mobile missile carriers are now on combat duty across the country. The Topol mobile missile system, which has no analogues in the foreign missile industry, is designed to engage all types of strategic targets. Ove the past 30 years, about 100 missile launches have been carried out without a single abortive launch.

Yars is the result of modernization of the Topol system to destroy enemy’s stationary strategic targets with the RS-24 missile. It has increased total power of multiple warheads, equivalent to 45 US atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima.