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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Foreign Ministry Assails Pentagon

The Russian Foreign Ministry attacked U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday, angrily dismissing his claim that Russia spreads missile technologies as a revival of the two nations' Cold War confrontation.

"It appears that top officials in the U.S. military establishment don't realize to what extent the world has changed," the ministry said in a statement. "The world community no longer accepts Cold War logic, when military force substituted for diplomacy."

The ministry was reacting to an interview with Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, which appeared in the British Sunday Telegraph. In the interview, Rumsfeld criticized Russian objections to the U.S. missile defense plan and accused Russia of sharing missile technologies with countries that may threaten the United States and its allies.

The Foreign Ministry urged Washington on Tuesday to abandon "propaganda duels and Cold War cliches" and launch a dialogue to "preserve strategic stability and find mutually acceptable solutions to the security problems that have piled up."

U.S.-Russian relations have long been marred by the controversy over Washington's plan to develop defenses against ballistic missiles, which Moscow fervently opposes.

The United States says it needs the missile shield to fend off possible threats from nations such as Iran and North Korea. However, Russia argues that the U.S. plan would undermine the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which bans national missile defense systems.

President Vladimir Putin's promise to sell more weapons to Iran and finish building its nuclear reactor, made during Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's trip to Russia last week, has added a new strain to Russian-U.S. relations.

A Putin aide who visited Washington last week assured U.S. officials that Russia would supply Iran only with defensive weapons, but the administration reminded Moscow that it strongly opposed any arms sales to Tehran. It has also warned in the past that Iran could use the nuclear reactor to develop nuclear weapons.

Unperturbed, Russian officials have continued to insist the arms deals with Iran were legitimate and the nuclear reactor in Bushehr would be overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency and serve only civilian purposes.

"What doubts or suspicions can there be if everything is taking place under international control?" Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said Tuesday, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russian Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov said in an interview with the daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta that the United States wants to elbow Russia out of the lucrative Iranian market.

"We have evidence that the machine intended to slander our country and its leaders is gaining speed," he said.