Russia will do its best to prevent a war in Iran, prime minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin has said.
“We will do everything possible to prevent a military conflict either in Iran or around it,” Putin told editors-in-chief of several leading foreign newspapers in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence near Moscow.
A war in Russia’s neighbor Iran “would have very negative, direct consequences for us,” he said, adding: “I think no one is interested in the situation getting out of control.”
Tensions over Iranian nuclear activities have risen to boiling point over the past few weeks since Tehran announced mid-January that it had begun enriching uranium in the heavily fortified Fordow mountain bunker.
As Western powers increased pressure on the Islamic Republic, Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway along its coastline through which one-fifth of the world's oil flows.
Israel has recently stepped up its verbal threats to attack Iran if it does not abandon its nuclear ambitions and the United States has also not ruled out the possibility of using military force against the Islamic Republic.
Western powers suspect Iran of pursuing a secret weapons program, while Tehran insists it needs nuclear fuel for solely civilian purposes.
Putin said he believed Iran had the right to peaceful uranium enrichment under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The editors-in-chief of France’s Le Monde, Britain’s The Times, Italy’s La Repubblica, Germany’s Handelsblatt, Canada’s The Globe and Mail and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper participated in the interview.