Source: Press TV
Russia has rejected allegations by the US that Iran sponsors
terrorism, stressing that Tehran must be present in the anti-terror front.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Monday, noting that
Iran has never had ties with terrorist organizations.
"Iran has never been seen having any ties with Daesh or al-Nusra Front, or
any other structure affiliated with these terrorist organizations and included
in the relevant UN Security Council list," he said.
He added that Iran has contributed to the battle against Daesh in Syria by the request of the government in Damascus, noting that Russia has always advocated a universal front against terrorism.
"I am convinced that if we have an objective approach toward potential participants of such a coalition, Iran, of course, needs to be part of our common efforts," Lavrov added.
Russia's foreign minister was responding to remarks made by US President Donald Trump on Sunday during an interview with Fox news, in which he said Iran was "terrorist state number one."
On Saturday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis also called Iran "the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world."
Reacting to that remark on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said, "We disagree with this postulate."
He added that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is currently under arrangement.
"Such contacts are being prepared. We'll inform you of the possible date in due time," he said.
Iranian officials have also rejected the US accusations and stressing that Iran is a key country on the battlefront against terrorism. Iran has been offering advisory military support to Iraq and Syria in the two Arab countries' fight on terrorism. The Islamic Republic has been cooperating with Russia in assisting the Syrian government.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has expressed his regret over
the new United States' sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying bans are
not an appropriate means to resolve issues.
"We regret this happened. We have always expressed our stance that sanctions are not an acceptable and suitable tool for resolving certain issues," TASS new agency quoted Ryabkov as saying on Monday.
The US Treasury Department said on February 3 that Washington had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 entities as part of bids to ratchet up pressure on Iran chiefly over Tehran's missile program.
The move against Iran is the first by the US government since President Donald Trump took office on January 20.
In a statement on the same day, the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed as illegal the US anti-Iran sanctions and said the Islamic Republic would deliver a "proportionate and reciprocal" response to the move.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the backing of the wise participation and support of the great Iranian nation, will respond proportionately and reciprocally to any move that targets the interests of the Iranian people," the statement said.
The Russian diplomat further said Iran's missile test launches do not violate the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including Russia, in July 2015.
Russia believes that Iran's missile test launches do not create any problem in the implementation of the JCPOA, Ryabkov added.
He emphasized that the international community is "now focused on the pace of" the JCPOA implementation, saying Moscow also celebrated the first anniversary of the nuclear agreement's enactment in January.
"We do not see any special problems in this area. We want to stress again that missile launches with the use of missile technologies are not a breach of the [Joint Comprehensive] Plan of Action and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. We have brought this position to the notice of the US side as well," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
Moscow expects that "strict and clear-cut reading" of the JCPOA provisions and Resolution 2231 would be "the main thing in the determination of Washington's further policy in this direction," Ryabkov added.
The United States claims that a recent missile test by Iran violated Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said on February 2 that Iran's "successful" recent ballistic missile test had breached neither the deal nor the resolution.
"Iran's missile tests are not, and have never been, in violation of the JCPOA or Resolution 2231," Dehqan added.
WSJ seeks to 'poison atmosphere'
Ryabkov also slammed as "unfounded speculation" a report by The Wall
Street Journal about the US administration's plans to damage Iran-Russia
"The Wall Street Journal and many others do nothing but look for reasons for unfounded speculation and groundless insinuations and attempts to poison the atmosphere of relations," the senior Russian diplomat said.
In a report published on February 5, The Wall Street Journal quoted senior US administration, European and Arab officials as saying that the "Trump administration is exploring ways to break Russia's military and diplomatic alliance with Iran."
"If there's a wedge to be driven between Russia and Iran, we're willing to explore that," an official told the US daily.
Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy over the past almost six years. The UN Syria man, De Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
Iran has been offering Syria advisory military assistance, and Russia has been carrying out an aerial campaign against the militants in the country on a request from the Damascus government.
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