Wednesday 13 December 2017

West is set on a path to war with Iran, say Russians

Damien McElroy in London

DAVID Cameron has accused the Iranian regime of supplying weapons for the Syrian onslaught on democracy protests as Russia's foreign minister warned that the West was set on a path to war with Tehran.

The British Prime Minister yesterday said his officials had been told that weapons shipments from Iran to Syria had been intercepted by Turkey and that intelligence reports confirmed that Hizbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese move- ment, was actively involved in the slaughter in Syria.

"There is now growing evidence that Iran is providing a huge amount of support," he told the House of Commons. "There have been interceptions of some shipments by Turkey which are particularly interesting."

But Russia made clear it had drawn a line against the Western barrage of criticism of Iran. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said he was doing all he could to resist military action against Iran to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Mr Lavrov said Western accusations were pushing the region closer to confrontation as well as provoking sectarian clashes in places such as Syria.

"As for the chances of this catastrophe happening, you would have to ask those constantly mentioning it as an option that remains on the table," Mr Lavrov said.

"I have no doubt in the fact that it will only add fuel to the fire of the still-simmering Sunni-Shia conflict. And I do not know where the subsequent chain reaction will end."

Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, appeared to withdraw one pressing threat against Iran yesterday by stating that a military strike was "very far away".

European officials dismissed Iranian claims that it was in talks to resume negotiations with the UN Security Council about its nuclear work. "Iran is chasing headlines and pretending that it is ready to engage," said a diplomat. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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