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NATO missile defense system in Romania monitored Iran’s strikes, says secretary general

BRUSSELS, January 9. /TASS/. NATO missile defense system in Romania provided the alliance with valuable information regarding Iran’s missile strike on US bases in Iraq, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday during a joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban.

"When it comes to ballistic missile defense in Romania, in Devesulu, we are, of course, vigilant. We are following the situation very closely," Stoltenberg said. "The missile defense sites and the radars are, of course, providing us with valuable information, and we continue to follow the situation very closely."

Tensions in the Middle East escalated following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. In the early hours of January 8, Iran carried out missile strikes on Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the attack.

Following Iran’s strikes, US President Donald Trump said in an address to the nation that "the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime." "These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior," Trump pointed out, adding, however, that "the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it." Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi, in turn, told TASS that Tehran believed its response was enough in terms of retaliation, and did not plan to take further military action.