Ambassador says Russia not after U.S. permission for cooperation with Iran

July 28, 2019 - 21:32

TEHRAN – Russia’s envoy to Iran has said that Moscow will never ask for permission from the United States for cooperation with Iran.

Speaking to ILNA news agency in an interview published on Sunday, Levan Dzhagaryan stated that U.S. sanctions do not have any impact on Russia’s relations with Iran, adding that Moscow welcomes increased ties with Tehran.

Asked about Tehran’s recent action in reducing its nuclear commitments, the Russian diplomat said, “I was in the summit and said to Iran’s deputy foreign minister that we are separate from Europe.”

“We have always condemned the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and say how we can trust the United States when a government signs a deal and the other government leaves it.”

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been building up for months. After the U.S. pulled out of that Obama-era deal in 2018, the administration engaged in a maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

Russia’s ambassador to Tehran said Iran and Russia are “strategic partners”, adding that “our opponents” in the West are trying to drive a wedge between the two countries.

“Unilateral and illegal U.S. sanctions have a very negative effect and create problems for Russian companies, especially private companies, but we are trying to circumvent these sanctions,” he added.

Stressing that Moscow is “extremely pleased” with its cooperation with Tehran, Dzhagaryan said, “in order to complete ongoing projects and define joint projects between the two countries, a tripartite meeting of presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan will be held in Russia in near Future.”

Asked about Europe’s alternative channel to send money to Iran, known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), that would sidestep U.S. sanctions against the country, the Russian diplomat said, “We have announced several times that we are ready to participate in the INSTEX, but the European side has not explained to us what the details of this mechanism are.”

“I do not think INSTEX can meet Tehran’s expectations because it focuses on food and medicine, but Iran’s main expectations are banking and oil sales.”

“The Russian Federation is concerned about the unfair sanctions imposed on Iran, and Russia is ready to help Iran to thwart the negative impacts of the U.S. sanctions,” Dzhagaryan underscored. “Our opponents are seeking to create divisions between Iran and Russia, but they will not be successful.”

The Russian diplomat pointed to the UK’s seizure of an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar and said, “Britain says it has seized oil tanker for violation of EU sanctions on Syria but we cannot boycott a country and force other countries to recognize our sanctions. Russia never recognizes any sanctions against Iran or Syria.”

He added “I hope tensions between Iran and UK will be resolved as soon as possible through negotiation.”

“I think the U.S. is behind the scenes of this tension, whether in Gibraltar or in the Persian Gulf. If the U.S. had not unilaterally withdrawn from the Iran deal, the world and the region would have been much different now.”

Dzhagaryan reiterated that Russia will keep standing by Iran and supporting the Iranian government.


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