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. Russia warns war with Iran would block oil flows
MOSCOW, Sept 21 (AFP) Sep 21, 2007
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavror warned Friday that war against Iran could disrupt the flow of oil to Western countries and prompt a flow of refugees to Russia.

"It is a key region for the provision of hydrocarbons, mainly to Western countries, and any disruption of that would provoke serious crises," he said during an interview with Rossiya public television.

War with Iran would also create a "flow of refugees" from Iran's northwestern Azerbaijan region "towards Russia which has an open border with Azerbaijan -- we have a no-visa policy -- and that is also a problem", he said.

Lavrov also called on Iran to "respond constructively to the demands of the international community" to stop its nuclear programme, which the United States believes is intended to build weapons, and to change its view on Israel.

"It is absolutely unacceptable to say that a state does not have the right to exist. I am talking about Israel. The Iranians must understand that they do not win allies by making such declarations," he said.

France recently raised the tone of the international community's demands for Iran to cease uranium enrichment when Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the world should "prepare for the worst, and the worst is war".

President Nicolas Sarkozy later played down the remarks, but said Iran was trying to "obtain an atomic bomb" and this was "unacceptable".

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