US missile defence site to be set up in Romania

New US ballistic missile defence site in Romania is expected to be announced

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A US soldier walks past the launcher of a Patriot missile PAC-3 system during the Air Power Day at the US airbase in Osan, south of Seou.

The US and Romanian officials are expected to announce on Friday a new US ballistic missile defence site in the south of Bucharest to block potential Iranian attacks against Europe, says three US defense and government officials.

The defence site includes a powerful radar, missile interceptors and some communication materials, and it is “technically capable,” the sources said on the condition of anonymity.

One of the sources said, "That means all the major components of the missile defense system, including the missiles, are in place, and have been handed over to military commanders."

Navy Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins, a spokesman for the Navy, avoided commenting on the expected announcement, but indicated the defence site was "an important step in our efforts to protect against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles of increasingly greater ranges, lethality and sophistication."

Riki Ellison, the founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said last week, "This system is now in place to protect southern Europe from any specific threat from Iran should they decide to continue to break the treaty."

A US official said the US response to the Iranian ballistic missile test would be diplomatic, but underlined that the US Navy has several warships equipped with Aegis missile-defense system in the Persian Gulf region and in the east Mediterranean region to prevent potential attacks from Iran.

Iran has tested a brand new precision-guided ballistic missile to improve the accuracy of its missile arsenal.

This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, claims to show the launching of an Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in an undisclosed location. (Photo: AP)

Afterward, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power claimed that the test "was a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929," which was adopted in 2010 and prohibits Iran from testing missiles that could carry nuclear weapons.

However, Iran has rejected all claims on the violation of UN resolutions against the missile test and insisted it has no plans to design any nuclear weapons even though the UN sanctions monitors reported Tehran had violated a UN Security Council resolution by test-firing a missile.

TRTWorld and agencies