(Persia Digest) – Speaking to the Kommersant Newpaper, the Russian Ambassador to Tehran said about speculations on Russian efforts to get Iran out of Syria: “First of all, I would like to remind you that Iranian presence in Syria is legal. Iranians and the Russian army are in Syria at the request of its government, taking part in joint operations to destroy terrorists.”
Levan Jagarian continued: “We are worried about the possibility of confrontation between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria. We will do everything in our power to prevent this and stop tensions from rising.”
In answer to whether there is any pressure on Iran to leave Syria, Jagarian answered: “Iran is not a country you can put pressure on. It is a big country with an independent foreign policy. Working with Iranians is possible only through persuasion. Pressure on Iran has the opposite effect.”
The Russian Ambassador to Tehran also commented on the US withdrawal from the JCAPO and its effect on Iran-Russia bilateral ties: “Our trade and economic relations are actively expanding and we have a number of very large projects in the pipeline. Despite pressures exerted by the US, we have not encountered any obstacles yet and their implementation is taking place under normal circumstances.”
“Iranian authorities and forces have warned against closing the Strait of Hormuz on numerous occasions if a total US oil embargo is placed against Iran from 4 November 2018. Such a scenario is obviously not satisfactory. We are also aware the Iranian budget is largely dependent on its oil revenue. Therefore, Iranian authorities will take big steps to counteract US threats,” said Jagarian.
In answer to whether Moscow will continue to purchase oil from Iran once the sanctions come into effect, the Russian diplomat said: “We do not recognize unilateral sanctions and believe they are illegal. Iran has remained totally committed to its obligations under the JCPOA. This has also been verified on numerous occasions by the IAEA watchdog.”
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