Russia won't sanction Iran, US urges Israel not to attack

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday resisted pressure from visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join other world powers in imposing "severe and paralyzing" sanctions on Iran.

Netanyahu had hoped to impress upon Medvedev that time has run out for more gentle diplomatic efforts, considering how close Iran is today to producing a nuclear weapon.

Officials in Netanyahu's entourage who spoke to the Israeli media tried to put a positive spin on the meeting's outcome, insisting that regardless of a lack of a firm commitment by Medvedev to oppose Iran's nuclear program, they are sure the Russian leader will ultimately do the right thing.

Netanyahu also brought up Russia's sale of an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, after Russian defense officials on Sunday defended providing the Islamic Republic with such a weapon. The S-300 air defense system would make it all the more difficult for Israel to militarily intervene in Iran's nuclear program, if it becomes necessary.

Meanwhile, visiting US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told his Israeli hosts that he continues to view a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as a very bad idea.

Mullen suggested that the consequences of such action would be just as bad as Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

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