Mon, Nov 07 2011 | Various news outlets | Edited by Crethi Plethi
Russia says military strike on Iran ‘very serious mistake’
On Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that a possible Israeli military strike against Iran would be a “very serious mistake” that would only lead to further conflict and civilian casualties.
“It would be a very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences,” Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said after late Saturday warning by Israeli President Shimon Peres that an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations was “more and more likely.”
Lavrov said “there is no military solution to the Iranian nuclear problem as there is no military solution to any other problem in the modern world” adding that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan had led to human suffering and high numbers of casualties. “This is confirmed to us every day when we see how the problems of the conflicts around Iran are being resolved — whether Iraq or Afghanistan or what is happening in other countries in the region. Military intervention only leads to many times more deaths and human suffering.”
Russia assists Iran in developing Iran’s nuclear energy and space program and building its nuclear facilities and is deeply opposed to any military strike against Iran’s nuclear power plants, though Moscow has supported United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
This week the IAEA, UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to issue its most detailed report yet on research in Iran seen as geared to developing atomic bombs. Although senior Russian security officials accept that the West has legitimate concerns about the nuclear program, Moscow says there is no clear evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb.
Any military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be likely to sour ties between the West and Russia and provoke Tehran into hugely disruptive retaliatory measures in the Gulf that would inflame tensions in the Middle East and disrupt the flow of oil and gas to export markets.
Peres told Israel Hayom that “a military strike on Iran is growing more likely than the diplomatic option.”
“Iran is nearing atomic weapons. It will probably happen within one year. The intelligence services of the different countries that are keeping an eye on Iran are worried and putting pressure on their leaders to warn that Iran is ready to obtain the nuclear weapon. In the time left we must turn to these countries to ensure that they keep their commitments which is not merely passing sanctions. It must be understood that this problem is not just ours but the entire world’s. Iran threatens not only Israel. What needs to be done must be done, and there is a long list of options,” Peres declared.
Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and says its atom program is for power generation.