Putin ally fears Israel is pushing US toward Iran war

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Jan. 12, 2012, 5 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
© AP


MOSCOW - Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said. "There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans," Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin's Security Council, told Interfax news agency.

Patrushev, a former head of the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said Tehran could respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, through which 35 percent of the world's seaborne traded oil passes.

"It cannot be ruled out that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat to shut exports of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz if faced with military actions against them," Patrushev said in an interview published on Thursday.

Tension over Iranian uranium enrichment, which has moved to a mountain bunker better protected from possible air strikes, has raised fears for world oil supplies and even of war.

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful while Western powers believe it has military aims. Israel, which sees an Iranian atom bomb as a threat to its existence, is willing to attack Iranian nuclear sites with or without U.S. backing.

However, Patrushev said there was still no proof that Iran was on the brink of creating nuclear weapons.

"Talk about Iran creating an atomic bomb by next week we have heard for many years," he said, adding that the United States was trying to topple the Iran's leadership using "all available means" to make the country into "a loyal partner".

Russia, the world's biggest energy producer, opposes further U.N. Security Council sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme and has sharply criticised U.S. and European Union sanctions.

The United States has said it would use force if Iran carried out its threat to block the strait and moved a new aircraft carrier strike group to the Arabian Sea this week.


In remarks clearly aimed at signalling Russian foreign policy after presidential elections in March, Patrushev said Putin would work well with President Barack Obama if he is re-elected when the United States votes later this year.

Patrushev said Obama's chances in the November election were good despite the United States' problems. "With all the difficulties faced by the Democratic administration, President Obama has a good chance of keeping his post," Patrushev said.

Putin himself is almost certain to return to the Russian presidency, something which diplomats see as a setback for Obama's policy of improving relations with Moscow.

But Patrushev said Putin, who is known for his anti-American rhetoric, would work well with Obama.

"In the case of Vladimir Putin and then Barack Obama coming to power, the Russian-U.S. relationship, as well as the situation in the world as a whole, may see a strengthening trend," Patrushev said.

Patrushev, a hardliner, said U.S. plans to build a missile defence shield, a source of tension between the two former Cold War foes, did not "pose a serious threat today", although it could weaken Russia's "strategic potential" in the future.
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Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 5:39 p.m.    

It is not Israel that is pushing the U.S. or the international community as a whole into a conflict with Iran!!!

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Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 6:21 p.m.    

Didn't the Israelis just assassinate that nuclear scientist?

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Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 5:46 p.m.    

Yes, I agree. This is not just Putin's ally talking, but Putin as well.

Whether Israel will pursue that course alone is another matter.

They yelp, and they burn unarmed women and kids in defenseless ghettos and lebensraum lands adjacent to them yet they know that without their United States lapdog standing ready to change their diaper that a foe such as Iran is a bite too much.

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Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 8:56 p.m.    

This is a serious issue and one that the US should think very hard before it starts WWIII. If you think the economic situation is bad just wait and see what transpires if the US do go to war with Iran. It will be a whole new world that's for sure.

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Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 10 p.m.    

The USA does not think rationally. Even when they have occupy protests here at home and the middle class is struggling they still believe war is the answer.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 12:16 a.m.    

The USA do not think.

This is why the US sissies initiated and LOST two wars in the ME.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 12:52 a.m.    

No one loses or wins a war. They all lose.

The question is why is the US prepared to yet again initiate a another war. should they not be spending the money required to paying off debt be reducing its reliance on fossil fuel?

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 3:29 a.m.    

Do American morons realize they are playing with Fire by doing this? The middle East is already unstable right now and this could set off a 3rd world war. We all know now that Satan runs the United States so we are hardly suprised.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 12:42 a.m.    

Oil prices could go through the roof and Americans could be paying an outrageous amount for gas also.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 12:49 a.m.    

That they would and of course Russia would be the beneficiary of such action. BUT it has already been stated that Saudi Arabia is prepared to increase oil output in the event that war is declared. The question is war is the US prepared to engage in war. Iran is not Iraq.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 2:36 a.m.    

The US won't do anything crazy, like when the Russians attacked Afghanistan in 1979, and Georgia in 2008. The situation is already cooling off.

It's the Israelis that might do something crazy.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 3:18 a.m.    

Oh please shut up. America being the Persian Gulf right now is just crazy in itself.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 3:24 a.m.    

America is telling Iran that they can't close the Straight of Hormuz when that area is basically off the coast of Iran. What if Iran came near American shores and started making crazy demands.

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 7:58 a.m.    

Are you &quot;geographically challenged&quot; ?

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 8:59 p.m.    

You have uncle sams dick up your ass

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 6:37 a.m.    

I've never before read such idiotic comments as those below.

Can you imagine in the absence of a US presence in the middle East, what an upside down, violent, and unpredictable place it would be.

Something like if Russia was the world's superpower, except there would be no free commerce or freedom of movement. Russia would extort local nation's money for free passage, etc.

That is why Russia is despised in the free world. Still have not learned any leasons. Still supporting crackpot regimes such as Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Basically Russia is the anti-stability power, when the entire world seeks stability, which America provides,

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 7:48 a.m.    

The US is the most hated nation in the World and the ME is unstable precisely because the US meddling over there and supports bunch of dictators and monarchs in the ME for cheap oil.

As a mater of fact the US oligarchs spit in the face of the people murdered 9/11 by high ranking S Arabia terrorists by kissing S Arabia arse. LOL :D

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Anonymous Jan. 13, 2012, 9 p.m.    

America sure brought stability towards Iraq. I mean they are on the edge of civil war now. What a wonderful world

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Anonymous Jan. 14, 2012, 2:21 a.m.    

Iran can block Hormuz Strait.... but only for a few days. Then the Iranian navy will be destroyed and tankers wil be able to pass unmolested again. Iran doesn't have the staying power to block Hormuz permanently.

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