Putin ally fears Israel is pushing US toward Iran war

By REUTERS
January 12, 2012 14:36

 
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MOSCOW - Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans," Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin's Security Council, told Interfax news agency.

Patrushev, a former head of the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said Tehran could respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, through which 35 percent of the world's seaborne traded oil passes.

"It cannot be ruled out that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat to shut exports of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz if faced with military actions against them," Patrushev said in an interview published on Thursday.

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