Russian experts rule out US direct military action against Iran

Russian experts say the US is unlikely to launch a direct military operation against Iran, said leading expert on Iran of the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Sazhin at a press conference in RIA Novosti.

Iran "definitely has a more powerful military force than Iraq, and, first of all, more powerful and modern anti-aircraft defence means," he said.

"There is little doubt of the US final military victory in Iraq, but the operation would be very long because of the inevitable guerrilla war, with much more significant casualties for the USA," Sazhin believes.

This contradicts the interests of the incumbent US administration, taking into account the forthcoming elections, he said. He did not rule out a possibility that "the present euphoria after the Iraqi events may turn a fiasco for Bush in Iran, which would be equal to a political defeat." Referring to experts' opinion, Sazhin pointed out that the USA had managed "to buy" the Iraqi military-political leadership for $3.2 billion, but said that "the same variant in Iran seems hardly feasible".

Most probably, the USA will stake at "political and economic pressure on Iran in order to transform the authorities in Teheran in a shape more suitable for the USA", the expert believes.

Moreover, the USA has every reason to do so, he emphasised. "The current anti-Americanism in Iran is nothing more than a traditional state rhetoric. In fact, up to 70 per cent of the country's urban population would welcome the return of the USA to Iran," Sazhin underlined.

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