Daily Israel Report

Russian Foreign Minister Warns Against Strike in Iran

Attacking Iran's nuclear facilities "a very dangerous idea," says Russian FM Sergei Lavrov.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/24/2013, 5:16 AM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday warned against the idea of strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, RIA Novosti reports.

The remarks were made after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in a speech given after he was reelected for a third term, said that one of the principles of his new coalition would be preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.

“Attempts to prepare and carry out strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities are a very dangerous idea,” RIA Novosti quoted Lavrov as having said at a press conference in Moscow.

“We hope that these ideas and statements will not be realized,” he added. Addressing the talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Lavrov said that the Iranians to speed up the proceedings.

"The Iranians said they wanted to sign an agreement. We believe they can do it a little faster than they have so far," said Lavrov.

The IAEA and Iran have been holding talks over the atomic agency’s request to access sites where it believes the Islamic Republic has been conducting nuclear weapons tests.

Another round of talks was held last week but no deal was reached, as diplomats briefed afterwards voiced skepticism that more talks next month could bridge the differences.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Russia has said it will scuttle any UN Security Council resolution which could be interpreted as allowing military action against Iran.

Netanyahu told visiting U.S. Senators last week that “history will not forgive those who do not stop Iran's nuclear program,” adding that “a nuclear Iran is the problem of the world.”

In November Netanyahu indicated that by the time his next term as Prime Minister is over, Iran will not have a nuclear weapons program, stressing that if it is necessary, he will lead an independent Israeli attack against Iran, even without the support of the United States.