Belarus gets nukes, Iran bares new missile

Russia ratchets up tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Aleinik shake hands during a joint press conference following their talks in Moscow on May 17, 2023. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / POOL / AFP)

The United States has expressed concern over Russia’s transfer of nuclear weapons to Belarus and called Iran’s new missile a serious threat.

“The transfer of nuclear munitions has begun,” Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko told reporters Thursday during a visit to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

In Washington, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Russia’s move “irresponsible and provocative choices.”

As to the Kheibar missile that Iran test-fired this week, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters in Washington that “Iran’s development, and proliferation of, ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security and remains a significant non-proliferation challenge.”

The Kheibar has a range of 2,000 kilometers and be able to carry warheads weighing over one ton, Iran’s defense ministry said.

“An Iran with a nuclear weapon would likely act even more provocatively, and that’s why we are so committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Miller said.

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