US mulling missile base in Bulgaria, Romania to deter Iran: report

The United States is considering stationing "patriot" missiles in Bulgaria and Romania against a potential attack from Iran, local daily "Work" reported Sunday.

The United States plans to station the defensive missiles in the Black Sea coast and the Rodopi mountains, South Bulgaria, the daily quoted a high-ranking US diplomat as saying.

US defense policy specialist Benjamin Schreer of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs also told Germany's Sueddeutschen Zeitung newspaper that Bulgaria and Romania could be the "first choices" for the United States to station the "patriot" missiles.

The United States is considering building military bases in Bulgaria, a spokesman for the Bulgarian foreign ministry confirmed.

If the Americans stationed a missile base in Bulgaria, the country would "benefit a lot from it" and would get "a missile umbrella" from the United States, officials from the Bulgarian defense ministry said.

Washington may pursue bilateral agreements with individual European countries for deployment in 2006 anti-ballistic systems in exchange for economic aid, the report said.

Bulgaria, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, was a staunch supporter of the US-led war on Iraq.

People's Daily Online ---