The head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee says Russia should reconsider its cooperation with coalition forces in Afghanistan and provide Iran with defensive weapons if US authorities go ahead with their plan of military interference in Syria.
“The US administration is ready, albeit with numerous stipulations, to study the Russian proposal of transferring the Syrian chemical weapons potential under international control. If these diplomatic efforts yield results, this could become a way out of the pre-war situation that Syria and the whole world find themselves in right now,” Aleksey Pushkov told the State Duma on Wednesday.
MP Leonid Kalashnikov suggested that if the US starts the military operation in Syria, Russia should supply defensive weapons to Iran. Pushkov fully supported that idea.
“If the ‘party of war’ eventually prevails in the United States and the efforts of Syria’s enemies that are quite numerous would yield results, I think it would be absolutely justified to consider more serious measures on the Russian side, including the broadening of defensive weaponry supplies to Iran and considering changing the mode of our cooperation with the USA on Afghanistan, in particular, the transit conditions,” Pushkov noted.
He again emphasized that such measures would be justified if the United States chooses to abandon diplomacy and go for the military scenario.
MP Vladimir Simagin addressed Pushkov, noting that the current situation was very much like the one in 1933, when the Nazis set fire to the Reichstag and put the blame on others.
“Is there a danger that some third countries like Lebanon, Israel and Iran would be dragged into the conflict?” Simagin asked.
Pushkov replied that the military scenario in Syria would automatically mean the involvement of Lebanon and quite possibly also the involvement of Iran. In addition, such events could lead to more intense religious and ethnic conflicts in Iraq.
He added that the danger of such a development surely existed.
Moreover, according to Pushkov, there were reports saying that the Syrian opposition forces were preparing a chemical attack on Israel that they would afterwards blame on pro-Assad forces.
Many countries are interested in frustrating the Russian plan of relinquishing Syria’s chemical weapons to international control, Pushkov told the chamber, adding that many different forces were inventing new provocations and the aggravation of the situation could be expected.
After Pushkov’s speech, State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin suggested a parliamentary statement on the aggravation of the situation in Syria be considered.
The current draft statement includes another call for diplomatic settlement of the conflict, the further investigation of the incident of chemical weapons use in this country and scheduling the Geneva-2 international conference to discuss a peaceful way out of the crisis.