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"Diplomatic Solution to Iran Can Be Reached", Expert Explains

MOSKOW, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Mikhail Plisyuk, Director of the Institute of International Integration Studies, Moscow, in a recent article, has explained Russia's position towards Iran.

Plisyuk said: "Today Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against military intervention in Iran to the bemusement of many Western media commentators. But the Russian position is clear; like the rest of the world it is as important to Russia that the Iranian nuclear programme has an exclusively peaceful dimension. The only difference is Russians know that a diplomatic solution to the current crisis can be reached, and military intervention is not only unnecessary but would have grave and catastrophic repercussions.

"Unfortunately the Western press, particularly in the United States, has been deploying dangerous pro-war rhetoric towards Iran and has been playing up the need for a pre-emptive strike against the country.

"The US media has begun sabre-rattling in much the same way it did before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Televised reports in the US now regularly talk about Iranian weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles capable of hitting the continental United States. It is surprising that they have not learned the lessons of Iraq and are being quite so brazen in their approach to such a sensitive issue.

"What is clear is that military action would lead to war which would be totally catastrophic for Iran, the US and its allies and the wider Middle East region.

"The US media must be particularly careful not to report threats that are premature or exaggerated, or are based on 'what if' scenarios. Fear mongering will add unnecessary stress to an already tense situation. However, unlike the US media the Obama administration has been much more muted on the subject and has not sought to jump to conclusions.

"Similarly Russia has based its response on a calm and reasoned look at the information available. The Russian proposition is a simple one, to recognise Iran's right to develop a civilian nuclear programme in exchange for placing the country's nuclear activities under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Nobody has been able to prove that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, in 2003 US intelligence even claimed that Iran had abandoned its weapons programme and the IAEA has since not been able to provide evidence that this programme has been restarted. Finding a diplomatic solution to the current situation is essential to ensure security in the Middle East and avoid an unnecessary and undoubtedly costly conflict."

Mikhail Plisyuk is a Director of the Institute of International Integration Studies, Moscow

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