Russian Foreign Ministry 370.
(photo credit: Russian Foreign Ministry)
Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin in Moscow on
“The friendship between Russia and Iran gives Russia the
opportunity and the responsibility to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear
weapons,” Rivlin said. “Russia is the only country that can stop Iran’s nuclear
program without sanctions or military action.”
Lavrov disagreed with
Rivlin’s assertion that the Iranian threat is imminent, saying that it has yet
to be proven that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
“We do not
automatically back Iran, but the Israelis must understand the dangers involved
in this issue. Russia does not think Iran plans to attack Israel with nuclear
weapons, especially because there are millions of Arabs and Muslims in Israel,”
the Russian foreign minister said.
Rivlin is in Moscow on an official
visit, along with coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and MKs Marina Solodkin
(Kadima) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu). The group discussed bilateral
issues with Lavrov, but the Knesset speaker and Russian foreign minister
discussed Iran and Syria alone.
The Knesset speaker warned Lavrov that
Syrian President Bashar Assad is allowing unconventional weapons be leaked to
terrorist groups that threaten Russia.
Israel is not getting involved in
the situation in Syria so that neither side of the conflict can use it as an
excuse, Rivlin explained, but Russia should show responsibility and be
forward-thinking on the issue.
On Wednesday, Rivlin met his Russian
counterpart, Valentina Matviyenko, and spoke before the Russian Federal
Assembly. Later that day, he opened the Israeli Film Festival in Moscow.