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'West mulling military action against Iran'

Moscow, May 21 — Some Western countries are still considering a military operation against Iran as an option over its nuclear programme, a Russian minister said Sunday.

"Russia is concerned that the possibility to try to solve the Iranian nuclear problem by military means is still viewed as real," Xinhua quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

"We still hear messages from public and intelligence channels, which show that certain capitals regard this option as much more applicable to the situation (around Iran) than it was before," he said upon his return from the G8 summit in the US.

Ryabkov warned such an operation against Iran will inevitably bring "negative effect for the security of many countries" and "dire consequences for the global economy".

Taking note of the upcoming meeting between Iran and the six world powers, Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany, in Baghdad May 23, he said "We need to make the results more specific in Baghdad".

leaders of the G8 said Saturday that they remain united in their "grave concern" over Iran's disputed nuclear programme, while urging Tehran to address such concern without delay.

Iran has maintained that its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes, but the US-led Western nations suspect that it is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.

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