Moscow Stands For Resolving US-Iran Disagreements Through Dialogue Only - Lavrov

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th February, 2020) Moscow believes that only dialogue can help Washington overcome any existing disagreements with Iran, a stance that is reflected in Russia's concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Italian La Stampa daily.

"If we are talking about the latest swirl of US-Iranian escalation with which the current year started, then our position is known. We condemn any actions that contradict the principles of the UN Charter and lead to increased tensions in the region. The Pentagon attack on the airport in Baghdad organized on January 3, which killed the commander of the special forces of [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC of Iran [Qassem] Soleimani, became a flagrant violation of international law," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that it was a civilian airport, emphasizing that "these actions on the part of Americans are beyond the limits."

"Russia advocates overcoming the existing differences solely through dialogue, at the negotiating table. This is what the Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf region, presented last summer, is aiming for. So, in contrast to the confrontational schemes promoted by a number of states, we are offering the region a constructive, unifying agenda, and are calling for the formation of mechanisms for joint responses to challenges and threats," Lavrov told La Stampa.

He added that a consistent implementation of the Russian initiative would become an important step towards improving the situation in all of the middle East and promoting mutual trust in the region.

Tensions between Iran and the United States escalated after the US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on January 3. Tehran launched missile attacks on bases hosting US troops in Iraq in response to the killing in January.

Also last month, Iran announced that it was discontinuing all remaining obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), often referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 by Iran, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the United States. In May 2018, the United States pulled out of the agreement, which aimed to curb Iran's nuclear activity, and re-introduced sanctions against Tehran.

Iran started to gradually reduce its JCPOA commitments in May 2019. However, Tehran said it was ready to return to fulfilling its obligations if sanctions were lifted and was going to continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).