Russian National Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, during a visit to Israel, has warned Israel to be wary of conflict with Syria.

Ivanov said last week that the tense cease-fire between Tel-Aviv and Damascus might escalate into war if the two parties mutually miscalculate their strength; the Haaretz daily reported.

Ivanov, responding to Israeli National Security Council Head Ilan Mizrahi's claim that Russia was supplying Syria with modern weapons and missiles, said Russia was supplying both Iran and Syria with defensive weapon systems only.

He went on to tell the Israeli officials that the Syrian President Bashar Assad was genuinely interested in negotiating a peace agreement with Israel.

"As I told you in November, you will find a partner in Assad," he said, adding that Russia supported the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

As for the Iranian nuclear program, Ivanov said diplomatic talks to resolve the crisis revolving the Iranian nuclear effort have not been exhausted, and that there was "still much to be done in that respect." Ivanov also relayed Russia's apprehensions regarding a possible joint American-Israeli military strike against Iran.