US could attack Iran – Russia’s General Staff
“The aftermath of a strike against Iran will be terrible not only for Asia but for us and the whole global community also,” said Chief of Russia’s General Staff General Nikolay Makarov at a news conference.
He said the US made its stance clear as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen recently spoke about plans to attack Iran.
Makarov doubted that Washington could carry out the plan until the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are over.
“The US is now conducting two military campaigns – Afghanistan and Iraq. A third one would be a collapse for them; they will not stand it,” Makarov said.
“However, after these tasks are completed, the US could deliver a strike against Iran,” he added.
The military chief also said, “Iran is our neighbor and we are closely monitoring the situation. The Russian leadership is taking necessary measures to prevent this.”
Watch the Spotlight interview with General Nikolay Makarov on February 23
However, Ruslan Pukhov from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies believes that the US is unlikely to strike Iran militarily .
“Obviously, Barack Obama is trying to act in a much smarter way than his predecessor,” he said. “He is trying to engage the others to block Iran and we see that the Europeans and Russians are less hesitant than several years ago.”
“They [the United States] first soften up a country with economic sanctions, which don’t undermine government but do destroy industry,” Wedin said. “Then at some point they launch a military intervention and then when the country crumbles, big corporations are there to rebuild the country.”
In turn, political analyst Mitchell Barak said that, although there is the possibility of a military strike on Iran from Israel or the US, the sides are still relying on the possibility of sanctions.
“There is a possibility for military action on the part of both Israel and the United States together or separately. The Prime Minister of Israel visited Moscow recently, this weekend, and one of the main things that he brought up was trying to convince the Russian government that now it is the time to impose very serious sanctions against the Iranian government in order to stop the possibility of them gaining a nuclear capability which everyone agrees is a threat to not just the stability of the region but the entire world,” he told RT.
Political analyst Vladimir Kozin believes that the global community should rather rely on peaceful measures to resolve tensions with the country.
“In our so wonderful world it is always the practice that, when somebody is pressing upon you, you will retaliate,” he said.
“It would be more relevant, instead of warmongering or rattling the saber, to persuade Iran not to do this, not to embark upon a nuclear military program but to resort to normal, peaceful nuclear activities permitted by the non-proliferation treaty,” Kozin added.
If the US tries to attack Iran, the consequences could be disastrous for both countries, said University of Tehran political science professor Foad Izadi.
“Iran is a strong country. The only reason the Americans and Israelis have not attacked Iran is because they are afraid of the consequences,” he said. “Iran is capable of defending itself and it is not the way Iraq was two years ago – that is what we are seeing right now.”
Director of the Center for Research on Globalization Michel Chossudovsky believes that Iran's nuclear potency is just a pretext for war for the West.
“I think what is important to understand is that the United States, NATO as well as Israel are involved and have been involved in planning a war directed against Iran,” he said. “Essentially, they are presenting the case that Iran has nuclear weapons and Iran could possibly target the Western countries or the Middle East, or the Gulf states. It is to build a pretext for war.”
Meanwhile, the United States claim that the potential threat coming from Iran is the reason behind their anti-missile plans in Eastern Europe.
Concerning the deployment of the US “Patriot” air defense system in Poland General Makarov said: “It isn’t directed against Iran. We understand against whom it is directed.”
Nikolay Makarov also noted that the reaction of Russia’s Ministry of Defense to the US plan for an anti-missile shield in Eastern Europe is “generally negative.”
He said that Russia “has taken a major demilitarization step in the Kaliningrad region,” adding that the West is not taking this position into account. He was referring to the decision to deploy Patriot air defense systems in Poland, as well as talk of possible deployment of anti-missile shield elements in the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.
The co-relation between START and AMD system is one of the points of the new START treaty, said Makarov.
He added the document is 97% ready and only technical issues remain to be agreed upon, but noted that “recent events in Eastern Europe are affecting the negotiations in some way.”