US nearing radar deal with Czech Republic to warn against Iranian missiles

A senior U.S. missile defense negotiator said Monday that the United States is nearing a deal with the Czech Republic to install a radar on Czech soil that would defend Europe and the USA against missiles launched from the Middle East or Iran. Speaking at a conference on missile defense, John Rood, the U.S. State Department's undersecretary for arms control and international security, said that negotiations could be wrapped up within days "with a final burst of activity." He said that he was also optimistic that negotiations with Poland to install interceptors as part of the same system could be completed in the near term. The Czech Republic is also saying that it is ready to sign a deal. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is quoted in a Czech newspaper Monday as saying that the last problems in negotiations have been cleared away. He says an announcement could come at NATO's summit in Bucharest, Romania that begins Wednesday.