(AFP) HAMBURG, Germany – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has warned the United States against attacking Iran, saying such a move would be a “catastrophic mistake,” after US President George W. Bush cautioned Tehran and Syria against “meddling” in Iraq.
“If the United States were to attack Iran, it would be a catastrophic mistake,” Mubarak said in an interview due to be published on Monday in the German weekly Der Spiegel.
“Terror and violence would be imposed throughout the Middle East and shortly afterwards in the whole world,” he said.
On Wednesday Bush had warned Iran and Syria against “meddling” in Iraq, responding to accusations by that country’s defense minister they were helping insurgents and terrorists spread deadly chaos.
“We will continue to make it clear, to both Syria and Iran, that — as will other nations in our coalition, including our friends the Italians — that meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interest,” Bush said.
His comments came after Iraq’s Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan accused those two countries of orchestrating terrorist attacks in Iraq, branding Tehran in particular the “most dangerous enemy of Iraq”.
Mubarak also defended Syria in the Der Spiegel interview, saying he believed it “was trying to change its policies, but still needs a bit of time to do so.”
Iraqi authorities and US-led forces are battling to flatten Iraq’s deadly insurgency ahead of general elections next month — the first multi-party polls in the country in half a century — but daily attacks and bombings are severely undermining their aspirations.