Middle East

Medvedev warns against 'dangerous rhetoric' over Iran

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev listens to his German counterpart at a press conference after a meeting at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, November 8, 2011. Medvedev is in Germany for the inauguration of the strategically key Nord Stream pipeline pumping Russian gas to Western Europe. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN

BERLIN: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned Tuesday that Israeli threats to attack Iran over its nuclear programme were "extremely dangerous rhetoric" that could result in a "catastrophe".

"As for the militant statements, that Israel or somebody else is ready to use violence against Iran or against another country in the Middle East, that is extremely dangerous rhetoric," Medvedev told reporters on a visit to Berlin, speaking through an interpreter.

He called for calm from all parties, urging them to avoid threats, and added: "All this could lead to a very big conflict and that would be a catastrophe for the Middle East."

He was speaking at a joint press conference with German President Christian Wulff ahead of a ceremony to mark the launch of the Nord Stream pipeline pumping Russian gas to Western Europe.

Iran said Tuesday that the West had no serious proof it was developing nuclear weapons, ahead of a report by the UN atomic watchdog that is expected to provide new evidence against Tehran.

Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Saturday that a strike against Iran was becoming more likely.





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