Moscow, May 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran's ballistic missile programme does not yet pose a threat to Europe or the US, a top French official has said.
"Firstly Iran's ballistic missile programme threatens neither Europe or the US. Secondly, the Iranian nuclear programme is developed for civil applications only. Therefore, Russia considers Iran is a risk, not a threat to Europe," Michel Miraillet, France's director for strategy affairs and defence policy, said Thursday at a missile defence conference in Moscow.
The Euro-missile defence shield being implemented by NATO is aimed at so-called "emerging threat" nations, in particular Iran, which has developed missiles and was testing successor designs.
It would, however, be a risk to ignore the fact that Iran was rapidly developing ballistic missile technology, Miraillet said.
"Iran is increasing its inventory which includes nowadays more than several hundred missiles. Iran is developing indigenously a new type of two-stage solid-fuel missile called Ashura/Seijil. Its theoretical range is 2,200 km. Iran has proved its capability to shoot multiple salvos of missiles having different ranges," he said.
Iran is developing its programme in defiance of UN resolutions, he added.
The US and many European nations suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civil nuclear programme. Iran has consistently denied the accusations.