Russia dismisses U.S. claim that Iran backs terrorism

February 6, 2017 - 18:23

TEHRAN - Russia announced on Monday that it does not agree with a claim by the United States that Iran supports terrorism, Sputnik reported.

The announcement by Russia came after the U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that Iran is “the number one terrorist state”. His Defence Secretary James Mattis also on Saturday called Iran the world's "biggest state sponsor of terrorism".

“We do not agree with this approach,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked whether the Kremlin agreed with Trump’s remarks.

Trump also said that the United States will only work with Tehran under sanctions.

Earlier, his administration announced sanctions against 25 individuals and entities in Iran, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and China for allegedly supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program after its medium-range ballistic missile test on January 29.

According to the United States the ballistic missile test was in violation of the nuclear deal and Iran has since been “put on notice” by the Trump administration for its alleged violation.  In a tweet on Friday, Trump also said that “Iran is playing with fire.”

However, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that the missile test did not violate the nuclear deal or UN Resolution 2231 as the country’s missiles are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
He added that Iran is only using ballistic missiles to defend itself.

In retaliation of the sanctions against Iran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has announced “it will impose legal restrictions on some American individuals and entities that were involved in helping and founding regional terrorist groups.”

During his campaign trail Trump repeatedly criticized the nuclear deal, calling it “the worst deal” ever made. However, later he backed down from his rhetoric saying he would seek a review of the accord.

The Wall Street Journal also recently published an article stating that Washington is willing to explore a wedge to be driven between Russia and Iran. According to WSJ, breaking the ties between Russia and Iran would reportedly reconcile two of Trump’s contradictory strategies: improving relations with Russia and challenging Iranian military presence in the Middle East.

"It is The Wall Street Journal, which tries to drive a wedge. It is absolutely not surprising that the WSJ and many others engage in nothing except seeking out causes for unfounded speculation, and attempt to poison the atmosphere in the relations," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters.


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