French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner has been busy backpedalling on a trip to Russia.
He met his opposite number Sergei Lavrov, who along with China today has expressed alarm at Kouchner’s weekend comments that appeared to raise the stakes with Iran and bring conflict a step closer.
Kouchner insisted his remarks were meant as a “message of peace” and Lavrov clarified the Russian stance:
“We are absolutely sure that none of the world’s current problems require a military response, and that includes Iran”.
Kouchner sought to clarify his comments by replacing them within the context of the questions asked him during the newspaper interview. He said:
“To the question ‘what would be the worst case scenario’, I answered ‘war’. That means that I share your feelings, that everything must be done to avoid war”.
In just a few days time the UN security council’s permanent members, along with Germany, meet to discuss possible stiffer sanctions against Iran.