Russia Warns of ‘Large-Scale’ Conflict as Tensions Rise in Middle East

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TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia announced that tensions with Iran have made the prospect of “large-scale” conflict real, calling on the world countries to support a Russian security doctrine of zero extra-regional military presence in the Middle East to prevent such a scenario.

Speaking at a BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opposed the United States’ military escalation against Iran and promoted the Moscow-proposed doctrine of collective security in the Middle East.

“The development of the situation [involving Iran] has reached a dangerous line, which is fraught with risks of large-scale warfare. We must do our best to prevent it,” Lavrov stated.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that Iran stays committed to the Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Additional Protocol to it.

“The situation around Iran causes serious concern,” he noted, adding, “The American colleagues not only have just withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program that was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, they forbid all the rest to implement the United Nations Security Council’s legally binding resolution under the threat of unilateral sanctions.”

“We call on our Iranian colleagues to show restraint. We state that they are staying committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA and the Additional Protocol to it,” Lavrov stressed.

“At the same time, it is counterproductive to demand that Iran unilaterally implement its liabilities under the JCPOA while the other signatories, first of all our Western colleagues, don’t do it,” he said.

Russia calls on the European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal to “realize its responsibility for keeping the nuclear deal in place, for the implementation of their own commitments concerning the development of economic ties with Iran”, he pointed out.

The top diplomat recalled that when the JCPOA had been signed, the entire global community stressed its importance not only in terms of settling one particular problem around Iran’s nuclear program but also in terms of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

“By breaking this deal the United States is now seeking to, it will deliver a serious blow on the nuclear non-proliferation regime in general,” Lavrov stated.

READ MORE: Russia’s Security Concept: No Foreign Military Presence Is Key to Persian Gulf Stability

Tensions mounted between Tehran and Washington last May, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism. The American leader and his hawkish advisers National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have since been stepping up pressure against Iranians.

In early April, the US administration decided to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, while critics called it stupid and dangerous. In a tit-for-tat measure, Tehran labeled the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in the Middle-East as a terrorist entity.

The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and sending military reinforcements, including an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of Patriot missiles, to the Persian Gulf region. The Pentagon has also announced it was sending 1,000 additional US forces and more military resources to the Middle East.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran hit a new high in June after the US sent a number of military aircarft to the Iranian skies under a tense climate of escalating threats, forcing the IRGC Aerospace Force to shoot down one of the intruding American aircraft.

Iran has stressed that it will not be the initiator of any war, but reserves the right to self defense and will give a crushing response to any act of aggression by the United States.

 

 

 

 

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