Russia to Veto Any UN Motion for Strikes on Iran

World | October 23, 2012, Tuesday // 18:39|  views

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has once again warned the West against military strikes against the Iranian nuclear program. EPA/BGNES

Russia will scuttle any UN Security Council resolution that could be interpreted as allowing military action against Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned.

"As the Libyan experience has shown, sadly, a military scenario is possible," he said in an interview with the daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta, as cited by RIA Novosti, when asked whether Israel or the United States could start military operations in Iran.

Russia will therefore exercise an extremely cautious approach at the UN Security Council, he added.

"We won't allow any more such disingenuous interpretations. We will see to it that no resolution is open to interpretation like the one on Libya," he said.

The West, led by the United States, suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic says it needs nuclear power solely for electricity generation.

There is "absolutely no evidence" that Iran has decided to include a military component in its nuclear program, Lavrov said.

The Russian Foreign Minister further declared that the idea that Russia is losing influence in the Arab world as a result of the Arab Spring is "wishful thinking".

"We disagree with such opinions because our relations with the majority of the region's most influential countries have either retained their intensity or even deepened," Lavrov said.

"Serious countries and serious opposition figures... see Russia as a factor contributing to stability," Lavrov added.

"No matter what happens, Russia would still be treated as a reliable partner and an important guarantor of geopolitical balance, just like it used to be in the past, when the region was freeing itself from colonial rule," Lavrov said. "There is no prejudice against Russia [in the region]."

Triggered by the December 2010 revolution in Tunisia, the Arab Spring resulted in the overthrow of regimes in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

It also triggered a civil conflict in Syria, which has claimed up to 30,000 lives since March 2011, according to latest UN estimates.

Russia has been widely criticized for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and vetoing two UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

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Tags: Russia, Iran, Israel, USA, United States, Iranian nuclear program, strikes, Sergey Lavrov, arab spring, Middle East, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen


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