Citing an anonymous Russian diplomatic source, the Russian daily Kommersant reported that the United States has asked Russia to relay to Iran that the upcoming round of nuclear talks is its “last chance” to resolve the nuclear crisis peacefully.
According to the source, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked her Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov “to make [it] clear to the Iranian authorities” that if Iran does not cooperate in the negotiations with the P5+1 group (consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) slated for April, it will face a military confrontation in the coming months. The source said that the threat was lodged in a meeting between Clinton and Lavrov after a UN Security Council meeting on Monday in New York.
“The invasion will happen before year’s end. The Israelis are in effect blackmailing Obama. They’ve put him in this interesting position – either he supports the war or loses the support of the Jewish lobby,” said the diplomat.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov criticized the alleged ultimatum, telling the newspaper that “[s]peaking in this way is unprofessional. There is no such thing as a ‘last chance’. It’s an issue of political will, and Russia does everything to foster such will rather than let it wane…those tempted to use military force should restrain themselves and search for a diplomatic solution.”