Russia disagrees with a remark recently made by US President Donald Trump’s that branded Iran as “the number one terrorist state,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, citing partnership between Moscow and Tehran.
“We do not agree with the definition,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. “All of you know that Russia enjoys warm relations with Iran, we do cooperate on a range of issues, and we do appreciate our economic ties which, we hope, will go further,” he added.
Trump lambasted the landmark nuclear deal reached in 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States, plus Germany), and the European Union.
In the first part of the interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, which was published on Sunday, Trump said “they [Iran] have total disregard for our country, they’re the number one terrorist state, they’re sending money all over the place and weapons.”
Earlier in February, one day after the White House imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to a ballistic missile test, US Defense Secretary James Mattis called Tehran the world’s “biggest state sponsor of terrorism.”
“It’s no secret for anyone that Moscow and Washington hold diametrically-opposed views on many international and regional policy issues,” said Peskov. “Meanwhile, it can’t be and should not be an obstacle when it comes to forging normal communication and pragmatic mutually-beneficial relations between Russia and the US.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed the Kremlin’s statement, stressing that Tehran takes an active part in fighting Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL).
“Iran has never been complicit in any links to IS or Al-Nusra Front whatsoever,” the minister said.
“Moreover, Iran contributes to combatting IS. We have long advocated the idea of creating a unified anti-terrorist front. I am convinced that Iran must be part of our common effort if we evaluate potential contributors to such an alliance objectively,” Lavrov said.