Medvedev: Israeli Strike on Iran Could Spark Global Catastrophe

Russian president Medvedev says supports Iran sanctions that would not hurt the Iranian people.

An Israeli strike of Iran's nuclear facilities could spark a nuclear conflict, which could spiral into a global catastrophe, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told ABC on Monday, adding that he supported what he called "smart" sanctions on Tehran as part of attempt to make it abandon its nuclear program.

The Russian president is in the United States for a 47-nation nuclear summit convened by U.S. President Barack Obama aimed at thwarting nuclear terrorism, and which may also center on a U.S.-back attempt to hit Iran with new nuclear sanctions.

Russia and China remain two important missing links in Obama's drive to sanction Iran over its nuclear program.

Referring to the possibility that Israel may attack Iran if negotiations over its contentious nuclear programs fail, Medvedev told Good Morning America that "it would be the worst possible scenario," adding that "war means lives lost."

The Russian president also tried to estimate the meaning of what he sees as a war in the Middle East erupting as a result of such a move on Israel's side, saying "everyone is so close over there that nobody would be unaffected. And if conflict of that kind happens, and a strike is performed, then you can expect anything, including use of nuclear weapons."

"And nuclear strikes in the Middle East, this means a global catastrophe. Many deaths," Medvedev said.

Earlier Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned Obama's nuclear summit, calling it humiliating to humanity.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting the summit, which is focused on preventing nuclear terrorism but where world leaders are also set to discuss his push for new sanctions against Iran's atomic program.

"World summits being organized these days are intended to humiliate human beings," Ahmadinejad told delegates at a domestic tourism industry event, according to IRNA news agency.

Iran was not invited to the summit, which is being attended by leaders of China and Russia whose consent will be required to impose new sanctions which Obama wants agreed in the coming weeks.

Ahmadinejad had harsh words for politicians who claimed to represent the international community: "These foolish people who are in charge are like stupid, retarded people who brandish their swords whenever they face shortcomings, without realizing that the time for this type of thing is over."

Iran has said it will complain to the United Nations about what it sees as Obama's implied threat to attack it with nuclear weapons. Addressing the United States, Ahmadinejad said: "Your gift to the world is a nuclear bomb while Iran presents ... humanity."

Iran says sanctions will not force it to stop its pursuit of nuclear technology which it says is entirely peaceful. The West fears it is seeking to gain nuclear weapons.