A planned US anti-missile system, hotly opposed by Russia, to defend Europe against the threat of missile attack from Iran would not work, a new study by a US-based think tank said Tuesday.
The study by the New York-based EastWest Institute found the proposed system "will not provide dependable protection against an Iranian threat if and when it emerges."
The study titled "Iran's Nuclear and Missile Potential" was produced by a joint team of US and Russian military and academic experts.
Its findings fall in line with arguments made by Moscow, which says the plan for a radar-and-interceptor system based in Poland and the Czech Republic would threaten Russian security, but fail to protect against an Iranian attack.
The issue poisoned relations between Moscow and Washington under former US president George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama, who took office this January, has said he will pursue the planned missile shield as long as Iran remains a "real threat," while adding that the system needs to be "cost-effective and proven."
According to the report, Iran could in theory easily launch sufficient rockets or decoys to overwhelm the planned system.
"The European-based components of the US missile defense could not engage that (Iranian) missile," the study said.
"The Obama administration should conduct a serious technical review of the capabilities claimed for the proposed European missile defense system."
The report also backed Kremlin claims that the system -- which the Pentagon says is far too small to pose any threat to Russia's vast nuclear arsenal -- could be turned against Russia.
"The number of interceptors could be increased very quickly," the report said. "It would not be difficult from either a technical or an economic point of view to increase the number of interceptors."
The report says that Iran, which denies accusations that it is trying to build a nuclear weapon, could produce a device as soon as a year from now, with a nuclear warhead for a ballistic missile within eight years.
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