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Russian lawmaker: Washington proves it’s pushing its own agenda in the Middle East

According to Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, the US response to Russia's use of an Iranian air base confirms that Washington still sees the entire Middle East as its sphere of interest
Russian strategic bomber over Syria (Archive)  Russian Defense Ministry press servive/TASS
Russian strategic bomber over Syria (Archive)
© Russian Defense Ministry press servive/TASS

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, has asserted that Washington’s response to Russia’s use of an Iranian air base to strike terrorist targets in Syria once again shows that the US is using the Middle East to advance its own agenda.

"The US reaction has confirmed once again that for Washington Syria, Iran and the entire Middle East are a sphere for pursuing its own interests rather than an opportunity to collectively tackle common problems," the senator posted on his Facebook page Wednesday.

His comment responded to a statement by Mark Toner, a spokesman for the US Department of State, who said that Russia’s actions could be a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which prohibits the supply, sale or transfer of combat aircraft to Iran without UN authorization.

Kosachev pointed out that the resolution mentioned by Toner "is dedicated not so much to anti-Iranian sanctions as a completely different issue - the approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program." "Paragraph 5 of the resolution’s Annex B indeed states that, if weapons (including aircraft) are supplied to Iran for use in Iran or for the benefit of Iran, that would require UN Security Council’s authorization," he emphasized.

He added that "air strikes carried out by Russian long-range bombers that used an airport in Iran to hit Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra groups (both banned in Russia) in Syria have nothing to do with this."

"It is apparent that in this case this resolution cannot be relevant in either its intent or explicit wording".

Senator Kosachev highlighted that  Moscow’s unwavering stance "at some point actually forced Washington to work together with Russia on addressing the issue of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons and curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

"Together we succeeded," he noted. "What else has to happen, how many victims will there be before the Americans agree to work together with Russia to combat international terrorism or at least stop hindering our efforts in this area?" Kosachev argued.