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Iran underestimates risk of military threat - Pushkov

April 06, 2012, 18:49 UTC+3
Iran underestimates the realities of the military threat and it is obsessed with maintaining its image of a sovereign state
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MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Iran underestimates the realities of the military threat and it is obsessed with maintaining its image of a sovereign state, the chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, Alexei Pushkov, said at a round-table conference on the Iranian issue and Russia’s foreign policy on Friday.

He warned Teheran of making mistakes like those the previous Iraqi leadership committed in its day.

“Saddam Hussein played into the hands of his own adversaries. Won’t the Iraqi paradox happen in Iran?” he said.

Pushkov explained that possibly Iran may be still very far away from completing research and development of nuclear weapons, but the key world players may get the impression it already has them.

“In a situation like this it is very said that the Iranians fail to provide a clear answer, although they might clear up the situation,” Pushkov said. He added that a policy like that looked provoking to anti-Iranian forces in the countries that might permit armed intervention.

Pushkov warned that an air operation against Teheran’s nuclear facilities would inevitably result in a ground operation and, consequently, in the occupation of Iran. Under such a scenario a “large-scale war in the region might break out”, because Iran would provide “a very asymmetrical response.”

“Here one may expect not just a strike against Israel with medium range missiles, but very active confrontation of the Shiite communities,” the legislator said.

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