An official from Iran's Atomic Energy Organization announced Tuesday that the Islamic theocracy will “join the world nuclear club within a month in a bid to deter possible attacks on the country,” the Fars news agency reported. "No country would even think about attacking Iran after Iran's membership in the club," Deputy Head of IAEO Behzad Soltani said.

Meanwhile, Dmitri Medvedev, President of Russia, said in an ABC interview that the situation with Iran is 'tragic' and speculated that an Israeli strike on Tehran could lead to nuclear war and a stream of refugees from Iran.

Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on 'Good Morning America', Medvedev said:

“I don't know what Iran wants...  Are they pursuing the nuclear weapon or not? I don't know. But we should carefully monitor it. These steps to enrich by 20 percent in their own sites, despite that we offered to do it in Russia, France and Turkey. This could be considered as at least the desire to enter into conflict with the world community.”

'Very tragic'

When Stephanopoulos noted that Iran is unveiling new centrifuges, Medvedev admitted: “In any case our attempts didn't bring success and this is tragic, especially that there were so many chances. We do have our own relationship with Iran, a very close one. We do have significant trade, we do work with Iran on energy, and we do deliver equipment to Iran. But we cannot watch without any concern how they develop their nuclear program.”

“Sanctions should be effective and they should be smart,” he said. They should force or obligate the Iranian leadership to think about what's next. What could sanctions be? It could be trade, arms trade. It could be other sanctions... Sanctions should not be paralyzing. They should not cause suffering. Aren't we in the 21st century?”

Nuclear war and refugees

Regarding the possibility that Israel would strike Iran, Medvedev said: “It would be the worst possible scenario. Because any war means lives lost. Secondly, what does a war in the Middle East mean? Everyone is so close over there that nobody would be unaffected. And if conflict of that kind happens, and a strike is performed, then you can expect anything, including use of nuclear weapons. And nuclear strikes in the Middle East, this means a global catastrophe. Many deaths.”

Asked if he thinks Israel will refrain from striking Iran, the Russian leader said: “I do have a good relationship with the President and Prime Minister of Israel. But those are independent people. And I would say that on many questions they are defending stubborn positions. Very tough. And the US has seen the proof of that lately... In many instances the Israeli position, including settlements, remained the same even after open and honest talk with America and we have spoken to them also. Why am I bringing it up? Because you can't imagine any scenario, with the Middle East it would be a gigantic human disaster, and not only for the Middle East. If something would happen in Iran, the people from that region would try to escape. Where would those people go? They would head toward our borders. They would go to Azerbaijan. Iran has many with roots from Azerbaijan.”

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