Russian FM: Iran not a threat to U.S.

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in an interview with the Russian news programme 'Vesti', has expressed Russia's view on the most contentious issue discussed in Washington – the deployment of elements of the U.S. missile defence in Eur

The U.S. says it is needed to counter a potential threat from Iran. Russia opposes the plan.

Mr Lavrov said Russia can prove Iran is not the threat the U.S. seems to think it is.

“The United States is convinced there is a threat from Iran. We are ready to prove, including the help of Gabala radar station, that there is no reason for such fears. The presidents will definitely continue these consultations. There is also a continuing dialogue among our foreign ministries and defence ministries. Basically, the Russian president has not just suggested: we have the Gabala radar station, and you can receive real-time information, – this is only part of his proposal, which would help the U.S. resolve its suspicions of Iran. But the key idea of his proposal was to start dialogue in the framework of the pool of interested states, as he put it,” Mr Lavrov said.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration welcomes possible co-operation with Russia over anti-missile defence. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried says Moscow's proposal is a good chance to continue discussions.