Russia's foreign minister warns against attacking Iran
MOSCOW, June 20 (AFP) Jun 20, 2008
Russia's foreign minister on Friday said there was no proof Iran is developing nuclear weapons and warned unilateral action against the country risked repeating the mistakes of the invasion of Iraq.
"We have been repeatedly asking our American and Israeli colleagues, who insist that Iran... is engaged in making a nuclear bomb, to provide factual information to those assertions. So far we have seen none," Sergei Lavrov said in a speech in Moscow.
"The same conclusion has been made by the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said.
Responding to a warning earlier this month by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz that Israel could attack Iranian installations if it refused to halt its nuclear program, Lavrov urged Israel to act responsibly.
"We must be responsible for our policies, especially policies which touch upon the ... territorial integrity of others countries. They must be based on facts," he said.
"You remember the facts, the so-called facts, which were presented before Iraq was attacked," he said, in reference to faulty US intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Russia has repeatedly cast doubt on Western accusations that Iran is seeking to possess nuclear weapons under the cover of a civil nuclear energy programme.
In May, the IAEA expressed "serious concern" that Iran is still hiding information about alleged studies into making nuclear warheads and defying UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.