Friday, September 7, 2012

Russia Warns Israel, U.S. On Attacking Iran

The Iran File

Not surprising, Russia has issued an official warning to Israel and the United States that they should not consider an attack Iran, since there is no evidence that the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons. It has also said that any further sanctions, beyond the ones already imposed in four Security Council Resolutions (the last in 2010), are unnecessary. That means that Russia is prepared to veto anything new, as it did recently with Syria.

An article in the National Post says:
“We warn those who are no strangers to military solutions … that this would be harmful, literally disastrous for regional stability,” Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying. An attack on Iran “would set off deep shocks in the security and economic spheres that would reverberate far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Russian officials have issued similar warnings in the past, but Ryabkov’s remarks appeared to underscore Moscow’s concern about the possibility that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear facilities. Heightened Israeli rhetoric about the facilities, which Western powers believe are part of a program to develop a nuclear weapons capability, has stoked speculation that Israel may attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November.
Ryabkov said there were no indications of a military nuclear program and suggested monitoring by the U.N. nuclear agency was a strong guarantee. “We, as before, see no signs that there is a military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program. No signs,” Interfax quoted Ryabkov—Russia’s point man for diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear programme—as saying.
Russia's response, predictable as it is, flies in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Iran has every intention of developing nuclear technology, and with it the intent of developing nuclear weapons.

One nuclear expert, Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies think-tank and a former senior U.S. state department official, said that while it's true that Iran has not yet crossed the line from capability to actual weapons production, "Ryabkov goes too far in giving Iran the benefit of the doubt when he says Russia sees no signs of a military dimension … Maybe he means that the evidence is not yet confirmed. But there are certainly ample ‘signs’,” he said. “Surely Russian intelligence is not so blind.”

Unlikely, thus one has to wonder what Russia's true motives might be.

You can read the rest of the article at [National Post]

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