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Russian official warns against military strike on Iran

(Xinhua)

08:35, June 06, 2012

MOSCOW, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, warned on Tuesday against a possible military strike on Iran, saying it will only lead to " entirely negative consequences."

"When it is said that a strike can be made (on Iran), as, for instance, Israel says, it is necessary to consider the consequences. And the consequences will be entirely negative, for Israel and for many neighboring countries," Patrushev told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

He called on the international community to continue the dialogue with Iran, in a bid to avoid military confrontation.

"It is wrong to conclude that all opportunities and all the existing potential have been exhausted. Negotiations should continue," Patrushev said.

Meanwhile, the official said that Russia recognizes Iran's right to develop its civil nuclear program, but opposes its development of nuclear weapons.

"We must acknowledge that Iran has the right to a civilian nuclear program, but we do not want Iran to possess nuclear weapons," Patrushev said.

Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, but the United States and its major Western allies suspect that Tehran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.

The latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers -- Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Germany -- is scheduled to take place in Moscow on June 18-19.

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