Russia thinks that a pre-emptive military strike against Iran and Iran's nuclear weapons program by Israel or any Western power would be an extremely bad idea.

This would be a very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow on Monday.

Two days before United Nations' watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency is set to deliver a report on the progress of Iran's nuclear program, Israel has indicated that an attack on Iran is imminent.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have remained steadfast in their assertion that a strike on Iran is necessary for the future of Israel, and now Israeli President Shimon Peres has said that an attack on Iran in the immediate future is not unlikely.

The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option, Peres told the newspaper Israel Hayom.

Peres did add that the country needs to consider every alternative first.

Israel is not the only country taking a hard line, and Iran has promised that any military action against the country will be met with an immediate response.

Before (being able to take) any action against Iran, the Israelis will feel our wrath in Tel Aviv, Hossein Ebrahimi, senior member of the Tehran's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, stated.

If the threat is carried out they will see the political might of the [Islamic] establishment, the solidarity of the Iranian nation, and the strength of the country, Ebrahimi added.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added that he considers any attack by Israel also an attack by the United States, concluding that the nuclear rumors are just being used as a Zionist excuse to attack the Arab world.

Israel and the West, particularly the U.S. are afraid of the role and capabilities of Iran, and therefore are attempting to drum up international support for a military campaign against Iran, which is meant to deter Iran, Ahmadinejad said, according to the Tehran Times.

Other Iran officials reiterated the claim, saying the nuclear reporters were fabricated to give Israel a justifiable reason to attack.

I believe that these documents lack authenticity. But if they insist, they should go ahead and publish. Better to face danger once than be always in danger, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters at a conference in Moscow.

We have said repeatedly that their documents are baseless. For example one can counterfeit money, but it remains counterfeit. These documents are like that, Salehi declared.

Washington has remained quiet on the Iran issue in recent weeks, and the Obama administration is happy to wait until the I.A.E.A report comes out before making any proclamations. Nonetheless, Ahmadinejad is certain that the Zionist regime [Israel] is destined to collapse, and that collapse will happen soon enough.

The stand-off in the Middle East has serious international implications, and both an attack on Iran and an Iran with nuclear capabilities would have dire regional consequences.

A nuclear Iran would pose a terrible threat on the Middle East and on the entire world. And of course, it poses a great, direct threat on us too.... Netanyahu said on Oct. 31, adding that a security philosophy cannot rely on defense alone. It must also include offensive capabilities, which is the very foundation of deterrence.

William Martel, an associate professor of International Security Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Mass., told IBTimes last week that if Iran successfully develops nuclear weapons, it could ignite a regional arms race. As soon as Iran has a nuclear missile, other countries will clamber to develop sufficient nuclear weapons that could withstand an Iranian attack.

The tenor, rhetoric and discourse in the Middle East will approach levels comparable to the Cold War, Martel said.