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Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi

Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi

Javad Zarif

Javad Zarif

Mohammad Javad Mohammad Esmaeil

Mohammad Javad Mohammad Esmaeil

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is trying to entice Russia to become closer to Iran through bilateral relations, Iranian media reported Thursday. He arrived in Moscow to discuss relations with Russia.

His goal is to pave the way for Iran to circumvent the US embargo and sanctions. Iran seeks to harness Russia and also China to confront “US lawlessness,” Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported.

Zarif praised the “important role of Russia and China in supporting the UN Security Council and countering US illegal actions in the Security Council,” the report quoted him as saying. “The Russian government and its representation in the UN have had the best position alongside China during the difficult recent months,” he said.
They have “played a leading role in the face of US lawlessness,” Zarif said, referring to the US pushing snapback sanctions this month after having asserted that Iran had violated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran says the US has no leverage because it left the deal in 2018.

The US says it will stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon and ballistic missiles. Iran has thus gone to Moscow to receive more support and is also seeking a closer relationship with China.

“Well, we have serious problems in the region,” Zarif said, referring to other issues to be discussed during his visit to Russia.

The Syrian conflict “requires special coordination between Iran and Russia, and we also need to coordinate with Turkey in the framework of the Astana process,” Tasnim quoted him as saying.

Iran also is seeking a closer relationship with Turkey, and Ankara appears to want to partition Syria and remove the US from eastern Syria. Iran is wary of Turkey conquering too much of Syria.

Iran is also laser-focused on Afghanistan. It wants the US out but does not want anti-Shi’ite extremists to take over.

“Although our bilateral relations are very good, we always need to review the latest developments in bilateral relations with our Russian friends,” Zarif said.

Zarif is a kind of celebrity in the West, despite his regime’s brutal record. He laughed when asked about rumors that France had asked him to help form a government in Lebanon and talk to Russia about Lebanon.

“Such a thing is not true,” he said. “Of course, we may talk about Lebanon with our Russian friends, but this is not a priority and is not on our agenda. I don’t think I have talked to the French since my trip to Lebanon.” He was in Lebanon in August in the wake of the Beirut Port explosion.

Zarif’s main goal is to try to coordinate with Russia more closely. This is a relationship of common interests because they both want to weaken the US in the Middle East. However, they do not see the region entirely the same way. They don’t agree on Israel, for instance.

Iran’s goal is to circumvent US sanctions and the arms embargo so that it can acquire more weapons. In the past, Russia played a role with Iran in terms of air-defense sales and technical assistance.

Source » jpost

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