Skip to comments.Lebanon a warm-up for U.S.-Iran clash: Russian dip
Posted on 09/06/2006 4:30:03 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States used Israel's attack on the Hizbollah militia in Lebanon as a prelude to "settling accounts" with Iran, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Wednesday.
Vladimir Trofimov, deputy head of the foreign ministry's Middle East department, was quoted making the comments the day before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov begins a visit to the Middle East that will include Israel.
"If we look at Israeli and U.S. plans, they aim at removing the Hizbollah factor ahead of the forthcoming U.S. settling of accounts with Iran," Interfax quoted Trofimov as saying.
"This was a U.S.-Israeli conflict with the Islamic world, in which Iran has become a de-facto leader," he added. Trofimov, who has a record of making off-the-cuff remarks, was speaking at an informal round table discussion in Moscow.
Israel and the United States say Tehran supplies arms and cash to Hizbollah. President Bush has refused to rule out military action against Iran over its nuclear program.
Israel launched its offensive on Lebanon after Hizbollah killed eight soldiers and abducted two in a July 12 border raid. A fragile truce was brokered by the United Nations and came into effect on August 14.
Russia has acknowledged Israel's right to defend itself against Hizbollah attacks, but was critical of its offensive in Lebanon.
Lavrov is to visit Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Syria between September 7 and 8.
In a newspaper interview published on Wednesday, he implicitly criticized Israel's calls to destroy Hizbollah and said it should instead be engaged in political dialogue.
"Hizbollah is a part of the Shi'ite community in Lebanon," Lavrov told government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
The United States has been pressing Russia to give up its resistance to sanctions against Iran, which is suspected of trying to create nuclear weapons. Iran denies such plans and says its nuclear program is peaceful.
Russia has backed a U.N. resolution threatening economic sanctions against Iran if it fails to halt its nuclear program. Iran has said it will never abandon its right to nuclear technology.
But Lavrov said on Wednesday that the resolution ruled out the use of force against Iran.
Putin and Bush have good personal relations but the Kremlin's more independent-minded foreign policy -- especially in the Middle East -- has cooled relations between Moscow and Washington.
I was going to yell at you for changing the headline.
But you didn't. It really was a Russian dip.
I only hope he's right.
The SOVIETS have hopefully one thing right for a change,that The USA is ready to carpet bomb these stone age animals controlling iran once an ally to our nation.(thanks to carter)
What a wheez. The only question on an Iran invasion is:
"Should we go for a new world record on the fastest conquering of a nation... or should we let our current record stand?"
LOL. It took me a while too to figure out that dip meant diplomat.
de facto leader?
Where I come from, whack the leader and everyone changes their tune. all aggression and hostilities end.
I wonder would they also be the epicenter for terrorism?
what a dip
Every little bit helps
Iran has to be getting worried
We do, conquering nations is just a step in the process sometimes. I go to a restaraunt to get fed, ordering the meal is a step in that process.
I guess the Chechen headchoppers and toddler-dynamiters are part of the Russian community, too.
Besides, don't take it out of context. My comment was in referrence to the idiot Russian diplomat who was trying to compare Israel's self defensive maneuver to a necessary US invasion of Iran.
The point was on the assumption that we have to go in, their could be no tactical comnparison.