Russian FM: Iran wouldn't use nuclear weapons on Israel

Lavrov meets with Rivlin in Moscow, Knesset speaker calls on Russia to use its close ties with Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons.

October 11, 2012 12:21
1 minute read.
Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry 370. (photo credit: Russian Foreign Ministry)


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Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin in Moscow on Thursday.

“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.”

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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.

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