Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Russia, Italy, France, China warn against US attack on Iran.
Russian and Italian officials have warned against any US military intervention in Iran over the country's nuclear standoff.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov warned of the catastrophic consequences of any US attack on Iran.
"Generally speaking, bombings of Iran would be a bad move that would end with catastrophic consequences," Losyukov told the daily Vremya Novosti.
"We are convinced that there is no military solution to the Iranian problem. It's impossible. Besides, it is quite clear that there is no military solution to the Iraq problem either," he said.
Losyukov added that the use of force would only "worsen the situation in the Middle East" and "bring a very negative reaction from the Muslim world".
"Of course I cannot know what is being thought in the United States," Losyukov said, but their military intervention in Iran "would be a big diplomatic and political error".
Meanwhile, US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Monday the United States remains "determined to use diplomacy" to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis.
"We have said all along the United States government position has been that we are determined to use diplomacy to resolve this matter," Bodman told reporters at a meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran denies Western allegations it seeks atomic weapons, saying its nuclear drive is aimed at providing electricity for a growing population whose fossil fuels will one day run out.
Also, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said Monday that talks about going to war over Iran's nuclear program served no purpose and the international community should instead give sanctions and diplomacy more time to work.
D'Alema said a new war in the region "wouldn't resolve the problem and would only create new tragedies and new dangers''.
The Italian minister was responding to journalists' questions about comments by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who warned that the international community had to be prepared for the possibility of war if the diplomacy fails.
Italy has good relations with Tehran and remains Iran's leading trading partner in the EU, with a strong presence in its gas market through Italian oil and gas giant Eni SpA.
"Before talking about war, we have to give political and diplomatic initiatives necessary time,'' D'Alema said. "It doesn't strike me as a happy thing to talk about war at this moment.''
"We shouldn't talk about war, which doesn't serve any use,'' he said