Russia warns that Iran strike could trigger 'chain reaction'

 

Moscow

Russia strongly criticised Western belligerence towards Syria and Iran yesterday, saying that a military assault on the Iranian regime could cause a "chain reaction" that would destabilise the entire world.

The country's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, also said during his annual televised press conference that Russia would use its veto at the UN Security Council to block any resolution calling for military force to be used against Syria.

Mr Lavrov said that Russia is "seriously worried" that military action against Iran may be under consideration, and vowed that Moscow would do all it could to prevent it. "The consequences will be extremely grave," he said. "It's not going to be an easy walk. It will trigger a chain reaction and I don't know where it will stop."

Last week, a Russian newspaper revealed that the annual training exercises undertaken in southern Russia by the country's army will focus this year on scenarios related to the regional fallout of a possible military conflict in Iran.

Russia has supported some sanctions against Iran, but has rejected any talk of new sanctions. The US has already applied new economic sanctions and the EU is considering whether to follow suit as concerns mount over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but Mr Lavrov said that such moves were disingenuous and had "nothing to do with a desire to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation". Instead, Mr Lavrov added, the new sanctions were aimed at "stifling the Iranian economy and the population in an apparent hope to provoke discontent".

On Syria, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime is in its 10th month, the Russian Foreign Minister was equally forthright, ruling out any support from Moscow at the UN for military intervention.

Russia abstained from a Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya and was subsequently furious at what it felt was a bombing campaign that went far beyond the remit to "protect civilians" authorised by the UN.

Moscow has since made it clear on several occasions that it will not tolerate a repeat in Syria, a message that Mr Lavrov reiterated yesterday. "If some intend to use force at all cost we can hardly prevent that from happening," he said.

"But let them do it at their own initiative, on their own conscience; they won't get any authorisation from the UN Security Council."

He was also unapologetic over claims that Russia has been delivering arms to the Syrian regime despite an EU arms embargo on the country. A ship believed to be carrying weapons from Russia was briefly detained in Cyprus earlier this month, before continuing to its final destination in Syria.

Russia has not confirmed that it has been delivering arms to the country, but Mr Lavrov effectively told the West to mind its own business yesterday. "We haven't violated any international agreements or the UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

He also accused Western countries of supplying munitions to the Syrian opposition, which he labelled as "unacceptable and absolutely counterproductive".

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: One of SThree's most successfu...

Nursery Manager

£10 - £11 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: Nursery Manager We are loo...

Early Years Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Early Years supply teachers neede...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Progressive Rec.

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Progressive Recruitment are cu...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor