Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post #407 - The View from Moscow

This appeared (2/11/13) on Voice of Russia/Interfax, under the title "Russian warns against military strike on Iran":

A military attack on Iran will only strengthen the resolve and grass-root support of nuclear bomb proponents in the country, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin has warned.


“I share the opinion that a strike [against Iran] will only play into the hand of those vying for the creation of a nuclear bomb. It would be rather an irrational and dangerous step,” Mr. Churkin said in an interview.

Russia’s UN official said he hoped that common sense would prevent the US from attacking Iran. He stressed that none of the P5+1 group members believed Tehran had made its final decision to build a nuclear bomb.

“As long as the decision isn’t final, there remains a leeway for political dialogue. A military attack will torpedo Iran talks and nullify the possibility for the renewal of political negotiations,” Mr. Churkin said.

Claims that the US is providing Syrian insurgents with so-called “non-lethal” weapons don’t relieve Washington of any responsibility for murders carried out by armed anti-Assad fighters, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin has said.

The US is an extremely powerful state that enjoys enormous authority in such countries as Qatar, the chief arms supplier of the Syrian opposition, Mr. Churkin stressed.

If the US wants to remain consistent with its policy, it should restrain those countries from providing Syrian rebels with deadly weapons, he added.

The Russian diplomat voiced Moscow’s concern over rumors of a chemical threat in Syria. “We believe there’s been too much scaremongering… which makes you feel that someone is looking for a pretext to invade Syria. We are afraid the opposition may be tempted to use chemical weapons in their interests,” he added.

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