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Russia warns against attacking Iran

Russia sharply criticised the United States for what it called over-reliance on force.

world Updated: Apr 04, 2007 16:21 IST


Russia's Foreign Ministry has sharply criticised the United States for what it called over-reliance on force and warned Washington against military action against Iran.

But in a major review of foreign policy priorities, the ministry said on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to cooperate to end global crises if Washington treats it as an equal partner.

The 70-page document, echoing a tough speech by President Vladimir Putin in Germany last month, reaffirms Russia's determination to challenge the United States when it feels it has to - despite Moscow's recent decision to increase pressure on Iran's nuclear programme.

The statement reflects Russia's growing confidence and economic clout, and appears to be a signal to Washington that, while the two nations can work together, Russia will not always follow the US lead.

The document also plays to national pride in advance of parliamentary and presidential elections.

"The international community mustn't take risks connected to the escalation of the situation around Iran until the United States takes sincere, conscientious efforts to normalise its relations with Tehran," the ministry said.

"Attempts to label Tehran as part of an 'axis of evil' and statements about the need for a regime change in Tehran ... exacerbate the situation."

Russia criticised what it called "the creeping American strategy of dragging the global community into a large-scale crisis around Iran," saying that Tehran helps maintain stability in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

First Published: Mar 28, 2007 18:01 IST