Nikolai Patrushev told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Tuesday that the consequences of a military attack on Iran will be “absolutely negative” for Israel and many neighboring countries.
He urged the international community to continue negotiations with Iran, rejecting claims that diplomacy has been exhausted over the Iranian nuclear issue.
“It is wrong to conclude that all opportunities and all the existing potential have been exhausted. Negotiations should continue,” Patrushev said.
The Russian official also said that Moscow acknowledged Tehran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy.
This comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday blasted Western powers for failing to halt Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Netanyahu said that the demands that the P5+1 placed on Iran during the recent negotiations were inadequate.
“The Iranians were only asked to stop 20 percent enrichment of uranium; that doesn’t stop their nuclear program in any way. It actually allows them to continue their nuclear program,” he said.
Iran and the P5+1 – Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany – wrapped up their latest meeting in Baghdad on May 24 after two days of negotiations.
Both sides agreed to hold another round of talks in Moscow on June 18-19.
A day before the latest round of the talks in Baghdad, Netanyahu had urged the world powers in the P5+1 group to “show determination, not weakness” and take a tougher stance on Iran.
Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran with a military option in a bid to force the Islamic Republic to halt its peaceful nuclear program, which has been closely monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran rejects the allegations of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.