Striking Iran Would Be ‘Truly Catastrophic’: Putin

Prime Minister and presidential front-runner Vladimir Putin warned Western leaders against a military strike on Iran in the latest of a series of articles published before Russia’s March 4 elections.

“Without a doubt, Russia is concerned about the growing threat of a military strike on this country,” Putin said. “If this happens the fallout would be truly catastrophic.”

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency were denied access to Iran’s Parchin military base earlier this month, raising concern over a weapons component to the country’s atomic program that the U.S. and Israel have signaled might prompt an attack.

The Russian prime minister said he supports Iran’s development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. North Korea’s declared nuclear weapons ambitions are “unacceptable,” he said in the article published in the Russian newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti.

The U.S. has a “fundamentally different understanding of security from ours,” he said.

Putin defended Russia’s veto of an Arab League plan presented to the United Nations to facilitate a political transition in Syria earlier this month. The resolution would act as “a signal for military interference in Syria’s internal processes,” he said.

Syria has come under mounting international pressure as a result of President Bashar Al-Assad’s crackdown on protesters, which is nearing its one-year mark.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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