Russia Threatens Retaliation over Missile Shield

As the tensions over the accusation Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons gets more heated, Russia has delivered an ultimatum to the United States regarding their missile defence shield in Europe. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday that if the US does not deal with Russia’s concerns over the missiles being aimed at them, Russia will begin aiming missiles back. The violent rhetoric reminds me of the Cold War stand off, but its not quite the same situation as it was back then.

The United States is planning to install land and sea based radars and interceptors in European locations. Some of these locations include Poland and Roumania. The plan is to install them and maintain them over a ten year plan. The Americans are claiming that the project is intended to provide warning of an attack from Iran. However the the Russians are looking for some legal guarantees that those weapons will not be used against them.

“When we propose to put in on paper in the form of precise and clear legal obligations, we hear a strong refusal.”

A US Pentagon spokesman, Captain John Kirby, attempted to down play the Russian concerns:

“I do think it’s worth reiterating that the European missile defence system that we’ve been working very hard on with our allies and with Russia over the last few years is not aimed at Russia… It is … designed to help deter and defeat the ballistic missile threat to Europe and to our allies from Iran.”

Thus far the Americans have refused to give any kind consideration or assurances in documentation to the Russian government.

Russian president Medvedev made it clear that Russians were not willing to live with weapons being aimed at them or their allies. While not specific, Medvedev did say “counter-measures” would be deployed. In many people’s eyes this is interpreted as a pointing of weapons right back at the US. If there is anything we have learned form history is that Russians do not back down from threats and are prepared to defend themselves.

Despite all the hostility over the position of these weapons, we all know the real reason why this is happening. The US is driving hostilities towards Iran over a supposed nuclear weapons program. Iran is a an ally of Russia and the US is threatening them. Previously Russia has promised to help Iran should the US invade. Its clear that most of this hostility is because of the US position on Iran.