Iranian general warns US against interfering in Caucasus

Iran Materials 30 August 2008 14:04 (UTC +04:00)

A senior Iranian general warned the United States of the consequences of its interference in the Caucasus crisis, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported Saturday.

Deputy chief of staff General Masoud Jazayeri said that after Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States had caused another global crisis in the Caucasus, reported dpa.

"The greed of the US leadership is gradually leading the world towards the brink of ruin," the general said. In such a situation, any military attack on Iran would be "the start of a world war."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had earlier this week warned the US over interfering in the Caucasus crisis, saying that powers outside the Caucasus region should not seek excuses for further tensions and instability in the area.

"Their destiny in the Caucasus would definitely not be different than the dilemma they have in other regions where they have already created a crisis," Mottaki said, referring to the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mottaki however hoped that the latest conflict between the US and Russia over the crisis in Abkhasia and South Ossetia would lead to outbreak of a new cold war era.

The Caucasus crisis has in the recent weeks overshadowed the dispute over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Tehran has however rejected reports that Russia might use the dispute over Iran's nuclear programmes - vetoing further sanctions against Tehran - as a pressure tool against the West in the current tensions over Georgia.

"We support peace and stability in the Caucasus area and the crisis over there should be tackled within its own place? "We however hope that wrong calculations and signals would not lead to renewed conflicts," Mottaki said.

Observers believe that Iran has already taken the side of Russia in the conflict as an increased US presence in the region - besides neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan - would be a potential strategic danger for the Islamic state.