Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Tel Aviv yesterday that a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would have a “disastrous” effect. Speaking at a press conference with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni, Lavrov added that any attempts by non-peaceful means to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue would undermine all that has been done to bring clarity into the Iranian nuclear program [AFP, 20 March].
Lavrov’s warning comes amid new concerns over a military attack on Iran. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in Cherbourg today that Europe's security was “at stake” while Iran was increasing the range of its missiles.
President Bush said in Washington that Iran has “declared they want a nuclear weapon to destroy people” and that the Islamic Republic could be hiding a secret nuclear weapon program. Bush made the remarks during an interview on Wednesday with Radio Farda, a US government-run radio service that broadcasts into Iran in Farsi.
The White House Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Washington yesterday that President Bush’s reference to Iran’s desire to destroy people was “shorthand” to show Iran’s desire to wipe Israel off the map.
On Iran’s nuclear weapon program, Bush said Iran had hidden programs in the past and they may be hiding one now.
Meanwhile, US Vice-President Dick Cheney arrived in Saudi Arabia today. Cheney is on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the region. He is renewing Washington's warning against Iran's growing influence in the region.