'World will pay price for Iran attack'

Assad warns of uncontrollable consequences; French envoy: Sanctions may lead to regime change.

assad sits and talks 224 (photo credit: AP)
assad sits and talks 224
(photo credit: AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad warned Monday that Israel, the US and the entire world would pay a heavy price if Iran is attacked. "The US and the world will pay a heavy price," Assad said in an interview with the French Radio station, Inter-Radio, adding, "Iran has already emphasized that Israel will pay directly for such an attack." "The problem is that when one side begins such an operation in the Middle East, it won't be possible to control the consequences which will likely influence the region for many years to come," continued the Syrian president. Assad also criticized the US and its conduct in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. He said although logic should dictate that an attack on Iran should not be carried out due to its consequences, the Bush administration was not acting accordingly. "The Bush administration is stirring up a war," he said. "It is acting against the reason of our country, as well as most European and world nations." Meanwhile, French ambassador to Israel Jean-Michel Casa said that he did not rule out the possibility that tougher sanctions on Iran would lead to a regime change in the Islamic republic. "If Iranian products come under tougher international sanctions, the Iranian public will begin to question whether the nuclear program is unnecessary, and maybe the regime will begin to conduct itself in a more logical manner," Casa told Army Radio. The French envoy also expressed hope that Syria-Israel negotiations would at the beginning of next year lead to a visit of Syrian President Bashar Assad to the Knesset, or to a visit of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or President Shimon Peres to Damascus.