Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Reacts to Comments by Israeli Minister on Military Strikes Against Iran

June 9, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Military

Related Country: 

  • Iran
  • Israel

Question: Israel's Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz has said that an Israeli attack on Iran looked "inevitable." How can such statements by the Israeli side reflect on the process of the settlement of matters relating to the Iranian nuclear program by the six international mediators?

Commentary: We believe that this kind of statement, even if made in a private capacity, should not come from the lips of a member of the leadership of a state which is a UN member and has undertaken to observe its Charter, including avoiding the use or threat of force in dealing with international problems.

Yes, the international community still has questions about Iran's previous nuclear activities, but no facts of a shift in its nuclear program for other than peaceful purposes have been established by the IAEA.

As is known, Russia in conjunction with the other countries of the Six, including the United States, has been engaged in consistent work to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problem of the Iranian nuclear program (INP).

The six nations have now prepared a renovated package of proposals to be transmitted to the Iranian side for launching full-format talks with a view to achieving a long-term settlement of the INP problem.

Our position in this regard is well known. We have repeatedly said that there is no alternative to a political settlement of the INP problem. We have considered and continue to consider a military option for resolving the situation unacceptable and counterproductive. We believe everyone should be aware that the consequences of such a step for stability in a region which is already oversaturated with crises would inevitably be catastrophic.

Moreover, fanning tension around Iran may create an even more strained atmosphere of distrust, which, undoubtedly, will complicate the work on the search of a mutually acceptable solution, including in the framework of the dialogue between the Six and Iran. We presume that only politico-diplomatic methods within existing international norms will enable the world community to find acceptable solutions to the INP problem for all.