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Russia ready to help establish dialogue between US and Iran, Lavrov says

Russia is in opposition to escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region, the Russian foreign minister stated
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Vitaly Belousov/POOL/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Vitaly Belousov/POOL/TASS

COLOMBO, January 14. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to contribute to launching dialogue between Washington and Tehran if the sides show interest in this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We are calling on the US and Iran to show restraint and solve all problems through dialogue," Lavrov said. "Many tried and continue trying to contribute to launching contacts between the United States and Iran to ease tensions," he said, stressing: "[We] are also ready to help if the sides show a real interest in this."

Meanwhile, Russia’s top diplomat emphasized that Moscow was not going to meddle in the ties between the United States and Iran. "By meddling, as you said, in US-Iranian relations I mean some physical actions.".

Escalation Persian Gulf

Russia is in opposition to escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region whatever the side responsible for it, Lavrov said.

According to him, "no one can be satisfied with what is unfolding in the Persian Gulf region where tensions and nervousness are cranked up, which are already manifesting in actions, people are dying from it."

"We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that it all started the moment when the United States announced a few years ago that "all problems and woes of the region arise from Iran’s activities, that Iran is the main terrorist" even though no one can prove this and "that Iran should stop exercising influence over what is happening around its borders," the minister underlined.

Parallel to that, Lavrov continued, "the US tore up its obligations to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program - TASS), started punishing everyone engaged in legitimate trade with Iran with sanctions which also led to significant heightening of tensions."

"We understand Sri Lanka’s concern that a conflict in the Persian gulf region can take its toll on exports of traditional goods, not only Sri Lankan manufacturers will suffer," the top Russian diplomat noted. "The Persian Gulf of a place where transport arteries are running through and that has strategic significance for international trade, particularly the energy source trade."

"It is in our best interest to set up a process of trust building in the Persian Gulf and the broader region. In particular, that’s what the Russian proposal to establish collective security in the Persian Gulf zone and around it is aiming it," the minister emphasized. "Let’s hope that all interested parties will begin discussing ways to de-escalate tensions and form a normal good-neighbor policy."

Soleimani’s killing

The killing of Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani goes beyond all legal and human boundaries, the Russian foreign minister said.

According to him, the killing was the culmination of Washington’s illegal actions. "It goes beyond all legal and human boundaries," Lavrov pointed out. "Russia opposes attempts to escalate the situation, no matter where they come from," he added.

Tensions in the Middle East rose following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed Soleimani. Iran targeted Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the drone attack.