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RUSSIA: ISRAEL NOT PLANNING IRAN STRIKE

Associated Press

MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Israeli officials have assured him that they are not planning a military strike on Iran.

In an interview with CNN television broadcast Sunday, Medvedev also confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret visit to Moscow this month that included a meeting with the Russian president.

In a transcript of the interview released by the Kremlin, Medvedev hedges on the question of whether Russia would support Iran if it were attacked by Israel.

Although Russia has no defense agreement with Iran "this does not mean we would like to be or will be indifferent to such an occurrence. This is the worst thing that can be imagined," Medvedev said of a potential Israeli strike.

"What would happen after that? Humanitarian disaster, a vast number of refugees, Iran's wish to take revenge - and not only upon Israel, to be honest, but upon other countries as well.

"But my Israeli colleagues told me they were not planning to act in this way, and I trust them," Medvedev said.

It was not clear whether those colleagues included Netanyahu. In a CNN clip played on Israeli TV and dubbed in English, Medvedev refers to Israeli President Shimon Peres as the source of the assurances.

"In one hour I will talk with the president of Israel, Mr. Peres, who when recently visiting me he told me a very important thing to all of us. He said Israel doesn't intend to deliver any strike against Iran. He said, 'We are a peaceful country.' "

Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev refused to comment Sunday.

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