TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov praised on Monday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent suggestion to Persian Gulf states to sign a non-aggression pact as the first step to reduce regional tensions.
“Perhaps, agreeing not to attack one another is the first step toward reducing tensions. We would consider such an agreement as a proper one,” Lavrov said at a press conference, held after his talks with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla.
He also said that Zarif’s suggestion was in line with a “well-known and old” Russian initiative to create a “security concept” for the Persian Gulf, which would include Arab states and Iran, UrduPoint News reported.
The Russian foreign minister added that no common stand had been formulated during discussions of this initiative.
“I believe that anyway we should move on toward creating such a concept, such a security system, and we should start with easy steps, such as being transparent about military matters, inviting each other to take part in drills and elaborating other measures aimed at boosting trust,” Lavrov said.
He stated that Russia would like to see the League of Arab States, the European Union, the United Nations as a whole and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as the guarantors of this security system.
Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s intention to additionally send 1,500 troops to the Middle East, Lavrov said any increase in military potential would result in new risks.
“As for President Trump’s decision to send 1,500 troops in addition to those deployed in the Middle East and North Africa region, well, you know, always when the military potential grows, the risks increase. I very much hope that the sensible voices that are heard from Washington, including the respected former military leaders, politicians, diplomats about the recklessness of the idea of war against Iran, will be heard,” Lavrov told reporters, Sputnik reported.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.