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French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Iran on Thursday it was taking a dangerous gamble in seeking to develop nuclear weapons because one day its arch-foe Israel could strike.
Western powers accuse Iran of seeking the atom bomb under the cover of a civilian nuclear program but Tehran insists it only wants to master atomic technology to generate electricity.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if the dispute cannot be settled through diplomacy.
The raids were disclosed by UPI chief editor Arnaud de Borchgrave, who is also on the Washington Times staff, and picked up by the Iranian Fars news agency. The Russian raids of two Georgian airfields, which Tbilisi had allowed Israel to use for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, followed the Georgian offensive against South Ossetia on Aug. 7.
Under the secret agreement with Georgia, the airfields had been earmarked for use by Israeli fighter-bombers taking off to strike Iran in return for training and arms supplies.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that flying from S. Georgia over the Caspian Sea to Iran would sharply trim the distance to be spanned by Israeli fighter-bombers, reducing flying time to 3.5 hours.
Northern Iran and the Tehran region, where most of the nuclear facilities are concentrated, would be within range, with no need to request US permission to pass through Iraq air space.
Russian Special Forces also raided other Israeli facilities in southern Georgia and captured Israeli spy drones, says the report.
Israel was said to have used the two airfields to “conduct recon flights over southern Russia as well as into nearby Iran.” The US intelligence sources quoted by UPI reported that the Russian force also carried home other Israeli military equipment captured at the air bases.
Our sources say that if the Russians got hold of an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle complete with sophisticated electronic reconnaissance equipment, they will have secured some of the IDF’s most secret devices for spying on Iran and Syria.
When this happened before, Russian military engineers quickly dismantled the equipment, studied it and passed the technology on to Tehran and Damascus.
Iran on Friday said nuclear weapons have no place in the country's defence doctrine and rejected as "baseless" French President Nocholas Sarkozy's comment that the Islamic country's nuclear programme is a threat to the region, a news agency reported.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters Iran's nuclear pursuits are peaceful and that Tehran would continue to campaign for total nuclear disarmament.
"Nuclear weapons have no position in Iran's defence doctrine," said Qashqavi, adding that "the French president's comments will not bar Iran from demanding complete nuclear disarmament worldwide and dismantling of nuclear arsenal".
Sarkozy on Thursday asked his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad for support in opposing Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
While acknowledging Iran's right to have nuclear power, Sarkozy stressed that Iranian nuclear weapons would be a threat to the region and the whole world.
Iran insists that its nuclear projects were solely for civil and peaceful purposes but the West fears that the Islamic state would work on a secret programme for making nuclear weapons.
Iran has rejected demand of the West and UN to suspend its uranium enrichment programme saying that its enrichment activities are in line with Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"I do not support military action against Iran, but the world must become a united front and impose harsh economic sanctions on Iran," President Shimon Peres said Friday.
Speaking at the Ambrosetti Forum, an annual gathering of global political and business leaders in this Italian lakeside resort, Peres said that most of the Arab states were opposed to Iran having nuclear weapons, and the world at large would not allow terrorists and extremists to have nuclear weapons of mass destruction at their disposal.
Originally posted by MegaCurious
I mean, it's their country, so they can do what they want.