January 13, 2012
The head of the Kremlin’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, has told the Interfax news agency Russia fears Israel will push the United States into attacking Iran.
“There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,” said Patrushev, a Vladimir Putin confidant.
“It cannot be ruled out that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat to shut exports of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz if faced with military actions against them.”
A Harvard and MIT study conducted in 2008 stated that Iran has significant littoral warfare capabilities, including mines, antiship cruise missiles, and land-based air defense. It would be able to close down the Strait of Hormuz for a month or more and inflict significant economic damage.
Patrushev said the United States is using Iran’s nuclear program as a pretext for regime change in the country. “Talk about Iran creating an atomic bomb by next week we have heard for many years,” he said. Instead of making sure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, the United States is attempting to overthrow Iran’s leadership using “all available means” to make the country into “a loyal partner.”
Patrushev also believes the U.S. and NATO will intervene militarily in Syria. “We are getting information that NATO members and some Persian Gulf States, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention,” he told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper on Thursday.
“This time it is true that the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the UK or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey which was until recently on good terms with Syria and is a rival of Iran with immense ambitions,” the former FSB boss said.