Iran Talks Won’t Change U.S. Missile Plans in Europe, Kerry Says

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from The Wall Street Journal,

U.S. Expects to Put Missile Interceptors in Poland by 2018.

The U.S. is going ahead with its missile defense plans for Europe despite improving relations with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, two days before the next round of nuclear negotiations with Iran in Geneva.

The U.S. expects to put land-based missile interceptors in northern Poland by 2018, three years after a site in Romania is expected to become operational. The base in Poland will seek to protect Europe and the U.S. from missile attacks that could be launched mainly from Iran.

On the only European stop of his weeklong tour that centers on the Middle East, Mr. Kerry was asked Tuesday if that element of the system could be abandoned, considering U.S. diplomacy and international talks going on with Iran over its nuclear program. Mr. Kerry said that those talks wouldn’t change the U.S. plan for Europe.

“There is no agreement with Iran, nothing has changed and the plans for missile defense are absolutely on target,” Mr. Kerry said. “We intend to provide for the next phase by 2018 and will deploy that site by that period of time. Nothing has changed at this point and I don’t foresee it changing.”

A group of major powers—the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany—are set to meet an Iranian delegation in Geneva this week to talk about the country’s nuclear program. Negotiations were revived after Hasan Rouhani, considered centrist, became Iran’s president in August.

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