WARSAW - A successful deal to curb Iran's nuclear program would remove the need for the United States to build an anti-missile shield in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Russia strongly opposes the missile defense system, saying it will upset the post-Cold War strategic balance and undermine its security. Washington says the shield is not directed against Russia, but is meant to counter potential threats from the Middle East.

"Implementation of the Geneva agreement on Iran will remove the cause for construction of a missile shield in Europe," Lavrov told a news conference on a visit to Poland, where interceptors for the missile shield are due to be deployed by 2018.

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