Leaders of Russia, Israel, and the Iranian reform faction have spoken out in the starkest terms against a military strike on Iran over the last several days.
In a statement June 5 on the Rossiya-24 TV channel, Nikolay Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, warned, "When it is said that a strike can be made [on Iran], as, for instance, Israel says, it is necessary to consider the consequences. And the consequences will be entirely negative, for Israel and for many neighboring countries." The report of his statement was picked up in numerous other publications, including Russia Today, Xinhua, and the Shanghai Daily.
The next session of the P5+1 talks is scheduled to be held in Moscow, June 18-19, Patrushev said, and "It is wrong to conclude that all opportunities and all the existing potential have been exhausted. Negotiations should continue.... We must acknowledge that Iran has the right to a civilian nuclear program, but we do not want Iran to possess nuclear weapons," Patrushev added.
From Israel, on June 4, Meir Dagan, the outspoken former Mossad chief, stated that "a strike [against Iran] is simplistic and misleading. No one asks, what will happen five minutes after the strike? Five minutes after [the strike] we have a regional war," reported Israel's Ynetnews (Yediot Aharanot). Dagan's latest statement has been posted and reported worldwide.
On the U.S. side, Professor Sayed Hossein Mousavian spoke today at a "well-attended" event the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, where he released his book, The Iran Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir, published by Carnegie. Mousavian said that the U.S. and the West are making a mistake "in believing that Iran is making a bomb, or that the country has nefarious intentions with its nuclear plan," reported CNN. The U.S. must recognize Iran's right to build its nuclear program, and should open direct bilateral talks with Iran, he said; and, the international community should ease the sanctions.
Mousavian had been the spokesman on nuclear matters as head of Foreign Relations of the Iran Supreme National Security Council from 2003 to 2007, until he was accused of espionage by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mousavian was cleared of all charges, but has been teaching in the U.S. since 2011. He is a close associate of many anti-war retired U.S. diplomats and strategists, including Amb. Thomas Pickering.
In a May 29 interview on the Carnegie website, Mousavian denounced any idea of going to war against Iran.
"If there is a military strike, from either Israelis unilaterally or with Americans, it would be a disaster," Mousavian said. In response to such a strike, "I'm convinced Iran would withdraw from the NPT, and no one can guarantee then that Iranians would not divert to a nuclear weapon, because this would be an existential threat for Iran. And the consequences would engulf the whole region and beyond. This would be catastrophic."