Visiting Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov today said his country would not physically intervene in the US-Iran issue but said they reject any escalation of the situation regardless of the faction which promotes it.
Sergey Lavrov, who is on an official visit in Sri Lanka, expressed these views in response to a question at a joint press briefing held along with Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Ministry in Colombo.
The Russian Minister said, “We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in what’s going on between the US and Iran. Intervention meaning any physical action or operation.”
He said no ‘sane’ person would enjoy what is going on in the Persian Gulf where escalations are building up and taken a human toll.
“A couple of years ago, the US claimed that Iran was the root of all evils and that it was the main terrorist, but no evidence was provided. The US with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) were trying to punish and impose sanctions at any country that was engaged in trading legitimately with Iran” Minister Lavrov said.
He said the culmination of all these events was the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a drone attack in Baghdad, Iraq. “This goes beyond any norms on international behaviours,” he said.
The minister urged all parties to show restraint and address the issues through means of dialogues.
“As far as I know, both the US and Iran show readiness of progress. Although the US claim that no preconditions for the resumption of any dialogue, they are saying that the magnitude of the so-called sanctions on Iran are growing. US invites for Iran for dialogue but they are laying preconditions,” he said.
The minister commended all measures taken in an attempt to defuse the tension by the leaders of France and Japan. “We stand ready to help them,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked how the escalating tensions would impact Sri Lanka’s relations with Iran, Lavrov said possible escalation will not only hit Sri Lanka’s trade but also the adjacent countries of Iran in the Middle East region. (Lahiru Pothmulla)