Friday Mar 02, 201206:45 AM GMT
Russian premier vows to ward off attack on Iran
Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:44AM
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We will do everything possible to prevent a military conflict either in Iran or around it.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned of the dire consequences of a military conflict with the Islamic Republic, saying Moscow will do its utmost to avert a war on Iran.


“We will do everything possible to prevent a military conflict either in Iran or around it,” Putin told the chief editors of several leading international newspapers in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence near the Russian capital, RIA Novosti reported on Friday.

Putin said a war in Russia’s neighboring country Iran would have very “negative, direct consequences" for Russia, adding, “I think no one is interested in the situation getting out of control.”

Israeli officials have recently hyped up their war rhetoric against Iran, threatening Tehran with military strikes in case the US-engineered sanctions against it fail to force Iran into abandoning its nuclear energy program.

Putin highlighted Iran's right to access peaceful nuclear energy and said Tehran should proceed with its nuclear activities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 2011, Russia proposed a “step-by-step” approach that would enable Iran to adopt measures to address IAEA questions on Tehran's nuclear program.

According to the plan, Iran can revive negotiations to alleviate individual concerns of the IAEA about its nuclear activities and be rewarded along the way by a partial removal of sanctions.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program, using the pretext to impose unilateral and international sanctions against Iran and threaten the country with a military attack.

Iran has denied the allegations and promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

YH/AZ/GHN
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