January 18, 2012

Iran nuclear: Russia's Lavrov warns against attack

The Russian foreign minister has warned that a Western military strike against Iran would be "a catastrophe".
Sergei Lavrov said an attack would lead to "large flows" of refugees from Iran and would "fan the flames" of sectarian tension in the Middle East.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said any decision on an Israeli attack on Iran was "very far off".
Talks on Iran's nuclear programme will "most probably" take place in Istanbul, according to Iran's foreign minister.
Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters during a visit to Turkey that negotiations were going on about venue and date, and the timings would be settled soon.

As economic sanctions against Tehran begin to bite, the mounting tensions both between Israel and Iran on the one hand and between the US and Iran on the other have prompted growing concerns that a military clash could fast be approaching.
This is the context for the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's warning that a western strike on Iran - be it from Israel or the US - would prompt "a catastrophe".
Well aware of the current upheavals across the region, Mr Lavrov says that such an attack would "pour fuel on the fire of hidden Sunni-Shia confrontation that is already smouldering" and might prompt "a chain reaction".
But the UK Foreign Office said that there were "no dates or concrete plans" for talks, as Tehran had yet to respond to a letter from EU foreign policy head Baroness Ashton and demonstrate that it would negotiate without preconditions, according to Reuters.
Talks between Iran and six world powers were last held in Istanbul a year ago but no progress was made.

Tensions with Iran have risen in recent weeks after the UN's nuclear monitors confirmed Tehran was producing 20% enriched uranium at its Fordo plant near Qom.
The United States and its allies suspect the Islamic Republic of secretly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capacity but Iran insists its programme is peaceful.
The US has recently imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank and against three oil companies which trade with the country. The European Union has said it will place an embargo on Iran's oil exports.
For its part, Iran has threatened to block the transport of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping route.

Israel - thought to be the only nuclear power in the region - has said it could strike against Iran to prevent it developing nuclear weapons.
Iran has blamed Israel and the US for the death of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, an Iranian nuclear scientist apparently killed by a bomb targeting his car in Tehran last week.
BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Mr Barak's comments can be seen as an attempt to placate the Americans, who are growing concerned that Israel may take military action against Iran without alerting Washington in advance.
The comments from the Russian foreign minister included criticism of the Western moves to strengthen sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which he said were aimed at "stifling" Iran's economy.
Mr Lavrov told journalists in Moscow that they would have to ask those who he said were "talking constantly" about a military attack to find out if it would occur. He said such an attack would start off a "chain reaction" and he did not know how that would end.

No comments:

Post a Comment