Moscow, Berlin warn over strike on Tehran
MOSCOW / BERLIN
The crew of Israel’s German-made submarine, Dolphin class, stand on deck during a ceremony in this file photo. Israel purchases sixth submarine from Germany. photo
Russia warned on March 20 that Iran would have no option but to develop nuclear weapons if it came under attack from either the United States or Israel over its contested atomic program. Germany also warned Israel that any military escalation with Iran could bring incalculable risks.
“The CIA and other U.S. officials admit they now have no information about the Iranian leadership taking the political decision to produce nuclear weapons,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Moscow’s Kommersant FM radio. “But I am almost certain that such a decision will surely be taken after (any) strikes on Iran,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov’s remarks came shortly after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei warned that his country was ready to strike back against either the U.S. or Israel “at the same level as they attack us.” Lavrov added that Israel’s threats against Iran were only pushing other nations to consider pursuing their own nuclear weapon drives. “This happening... around Iran are forcing a lot of Third World countries to pause and realize that if you have a nuclear bomb, no one will really bother you,” Lavrov said.
He particularly raised the case of North Korea and its decision to both develop and test nuclear weapons.
6th submarine from Germany
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, however, said on March 20 that it will sell Israel a sixth military submarine and shoulder part of the cost. Maiziere also said he shared Israel’s fear of a nuclear-armed Iran and he was convinced Tehran aimed to make nuclear weapons, but he called for caution.
“A military escalation would bring incalculable risks for Israel and the region, to the detriment of Israel,” he told reporters at a press conference in Berlin with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak. Barak by contrast said all options regarding Iran should remain on the table, apart from containment.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.