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Russia: Israeli strike on Iran would be ‘catastrophic’

Deputy Russian FM warns Israel against striking Iranian nuclear sites, saying Israel must understand consequences of such an action.


Russian 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.

“Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences … and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves,” Gatilov said at a news conference..

A top UN nuclear official said on Wednesday his team could “could not find a way forward” in attempts to persuade Iran to talk about suspected secret work on atomic arms.

Herman Nackaerts of the International Atomic Energy Agency says the talks in Tehran were inconclusive, although his mission approached the talks “in a constructive spirit.”

Nackaerts spoke to reporters at Vienna airport shortly after returning from the Iranian capital.

An IAEA statement published overnight already acknowledged the talks had failed.   Iran denies it has experimented with nuclear arms programs but has refused to cooperate with an IAEA probe on the issue for nearly four years.

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US Jews to ‘back any Israeli decision on Iran’

Malcolm Hoenlein tells Yedioth it’s Jewish leadership’s duty to make Washington, Europe aware of Tehran’s intentions’


An attack on Iran’s nuclear installations would increase the threat on Jewish institutions in the US and around the world, but we will back any decision Israel makes, said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Speaking to the Yedioth Ahronoth daily ahead of the organization’s annual conference, which begins Sunday, Hoenlein said it was the Jewish leadership’s duty to make certain that the US and Europe are aware that the “evil” regime in Tehran violates human rights and threatens global stability.

Meanwhile, a number of Jewish-American leaders have been meeting with European Union officials in Brussels, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The leaders hope to convince the EU to impose more severe sanctions against Iran and move up its oil embargo on the Islamic Republic, which is scheduled to go into effect in July.

The Jewish leaders asked that the EU cancel existing oil deals with Iran and boycott Iran’s central bank.

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Russia’s Putin warns against outside interference in Syria

Russian PM says West cannot ‘behave like elephant in china shop’ in Syria

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the world faced a growing “cult of violence” and Moscow must not let events like those in Libya and Syria be repeated in Russia, issuing a warning to the West against interference.

“We of course condemn all violence regardless of its source, but one cannot act like an elephant in a china shop,” Putin told Russian religious leaders at a meeting as talk turned to Libya and Syria.

“Help them, advise them, limit, for instance, their ability to use weapons but not interfere under any circumstances,” said Putin, whose country vetoed a UN Security Council resolution last week backing an Arab League call for Syria’s president to cede power. He added that “The Syrian people must decide their future themselves, without foreign intervention.”

“A cult of violence has been coming to the fore in international affairs in the past decade,” he said. “This cannot fail to cause concern … and we must not allow anything like this in our country.”   Putin, who is running in a presidential election next month, has often criticized the United States and its NATO allies over its use of military force abroad, from the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 to a NATO air campaign that helped Libyan rebels drive Muammar Gaddafi from power last year.

He has also accused his political foes, who have since December staged the biggest opposition protests of his 12-year rule, of receiving financial and other support from the United States and Europe.

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