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Russia Warns Israel: Don't Strike Iran

Says "any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/22/2012, 6:38 PM

Sufa F-16I aircraft
Sufa F-16I aircraft
IDF

Russia warned Israel not to attack Iran over its nuclear program, saying on Wednesday that military action would have catastrophic consequences.

"Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said at a news conference.

"Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences ... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves," Gatilov said.

Russia's warning comes after British Foreign Minister Douglas Hague said earlier this week: “I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran. I think Israel like everyone else in the world should be giving a real chance to the approach we have adopted on very serious economic sanctions and economic pressure and the readiness to negotiate with Iran. That's what we need to make a success of.”

The United States also is pressuring Israel not to use force. US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that the US believes that "the Iranian regime is a rational actor and it’s for that reason, I think, that we think the current path on Iran is the most prudent path at this point.”

In similar warnings to Israel, France's Nicolas Sarkozy said earlier this month that "the solution is never military" and Japan's prime minister said a strike would be "dangerous" and could escalate the standoff between Iran and the West.