Russia has ramped up the rhetoric over Iran, suggesting that the United States could use its Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan to attack Iran.

“It cannot be ruled out that this facility could be used in a potential conflict with Iran,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.

Russia's partners in Central Asia, including President of Kyrgyzstan, were alarmed over “catastrophic consequences of a hypothetic military strike against Iran,” spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters on Wednesday.

“They are also concerned that the argument for enforcing non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is being invoked to hide the desire to re-carve the geopolitical map of the large hydrocarbon-rich region which includes Central Asia,” said Mr. Lukashevich.

“We hope that such an apocalyptic scenario will not be realised,” he added.

Moscow also warned Israel not to attack Iran as this would have “catastrophic” consequences.

“Any possible military scenarios against Iran would be catastrophic for the region and probably for the global system of international relations,” Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

“I hope Israel understands all these consequences,” Mr. Gatilov told a news conference here on Wednesday.

Mr. Gatilov also played down reports that international nuclear inspectors were disappointed with their visit to Iran this week. He cautioned against jumping at the conclusion “that the dialogue has failed, that it has hit a dead end”.

“I think we still have opportunity to continue diplomatic efforts, to resume the six nation dialogue with Iran,” he said.

Keywords: RussiaKyrgyzstanU.S.Iran

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