By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that the new missile defense system planned for Europe has the flexibility to adapt to changes in Iranian missile capabilities even if US intelligence about Teheran's slower-than-expected pace proves wrong.
President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a Bush-era missile intercept system in Europe was based largely on a new US intelligence assessment that Iran's effort to build a nuclear-capable long-range missile would take three years to five years longer than originally thought, officials said earlier.
Gates, a former CIA director, said that even if Iran should move more quickly on its long-range missile program, the revised program will have the flexibility to deal more quickly and effectively with the change.
"We actually are better able to deal with a changed situation, in which the intelligence assessments are wrong, with the new architecture than we were with the old one," Gates told reporters.
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