U.S. Missile Field In Gulf: Russian MP Warns Of Full-Fledged, Global War
April 6, 2012
US missile defense plans may signal strike on Iran, Russia warns
A unified missile defense system comprising the United States and six Arab states is a signal that a military strike on Iran could be on the horizon, says the Chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee.
“The formation of the missile defense system is a new step to signal the possibility of a military strike on Iran, at least in a political context,” Alexey Pushkov told a round table conference on Iran at the State Duma.
Pushkov was commenting on reports that the Pentagon has agreed to form a single missile defense system with six Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.
“A missile defense system is only needed in the event that Iran decides to retaliate, since there are no reasons to think that Iran would be the first to launch a strike all of a sudden,” Pushkov said.
These latest developments come as the sextet of international mediators – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – are preparing for talks with Iran on April 13-14. The talks will focus on Iran’s nuclear research activities, which some countries, including the United States and Israel, believe are being pursued with the aim of building a nuclear weapon.
Tehran vehemently denies the accusations, and says it is developing nuclear energy for the civilian sector.
Some experts say that Israel may be more inclined to launch a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons sites at this time, as the United States is occupied with its presidential election season, and President Obama is not in a position to appear weak before the pro-Israeli Republican opposition. Other factors, including Germany’s decision to sell six Dolphin-class submarines to the Israeli Navy, also seem to point to a worst-case scenario brewing.
Pushkov expressed what could best be described as cautious optimism over the chances of a breakthrough during the upcoming negotiations.
“Much will depend on the talks on Iran’s problem,” Pushkov told the Russian lawmakers. “Everyone hopes that these talks will be effective. But there is skepticism, too, given that the situation is not abating, but deteriorating, despite a flurry of political and diplomatic activity surrounding the Iranian problem.”
There are indications that the situation around Iran’s nuclear work could develop according to the worst-case scenario, he said.
“As you know, we have several scenarios on the table, among them the so-called military scenario of settling the Iranian problem,” Pushkov noted. “Judging by statements made by some countries, this military scenario is becoming increasingly probable.”
This arouses serious concerns for Russia, he added.
Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 6, 2012
U.S. Missile Defense in Gulf Signals Strike on Iran – Russian Lawmaker
Moscow: A U.S.-backed plan to build a missile defense shield within the Gulf states may signal preparation for a military strike on Iran, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said on Friday.
“The building of a missile defense shield is a political step, which signals the possibility of a military strike against Iran,” he said, speaking at a round table conference on Iran at the Lower House of Parliament, the State Duma.
Pushkov’s comment comes after the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday at the Persian Gulf-U.S. security forum in Riyadh announced the idea of a missile defense shield in the six Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi sharply criticized the U.S.-backed missile defense project, saying that it was “against regional security.”
“This missile defense shield is a U.S.-Israeli project and anyone who gets involved with this project is, in fact, implementing the U.S. and Israel’s plot,” the Fars news agency quoted Vahidi as saying.
Washington is seeking to expand its missile defense shield within the Gulf States. U.S. Patriot missiles are already deployed in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Russian lawmaker also said that Iran was on the brink of a full-fledged military conflict, as diplomacy so far has not help diffuse the situation.
“Unfortunately, the situation [around Iran’s nuclear program] is not moving towards resolution but towards aggravation,” Pushkov said, adding that despite the international political and diplomatic efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, “the likelihood of a full-fledged war is very high.”
Pushkov called on Iranian officials to take the Western threats “seriously” by “keeping in mind Iraq’s experience.”
He also said that bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities could trigger a global war, as the Islamic Republic would definitely respond and its response may be asymmetrical.
Pushkov reiterated Russia’s stance on Iran, saying that Moscow opposed any military outcome to tackle the Iranian nuclear problem.
“Russia has strongly condemned the so-called military scenario…there is no reason to say that anything will change in this regards,” Pushkov said.
The West accuses Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program but Tehran insists it needs nuclear power solely to generate electricity.