Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has warned against attempts to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s influence in different parts of the world, blaming the provocative acts of the US and the military alliance that it leads as the root cause of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that the US and NATO provocations have been the factor behind these conflicts [in Ukraine], and therefore it is necessary to be active in the face of attempts to expand NATO’s influence in any part of the world, including in West Asia, the Caucasus and Central Asia,” Raeisi said in a meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Tehran on Wednesday.
He stressed the importance of ending the war in Ukraine as soon as possible and expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“Strengthening cooperation and coordination is an effective way to counter US sanctions and economic unilateralism against independent nations,” the Iranian president said.
Tehran and Moscow both have huge oil and gas reserves but are constrained by sanctions that limit their ability to export their output.
Russia was slapped with sanctions following its operation in neighboring Ukraine, while Iran’s economy has been under draconian sanctions re-imposed by the US in 2018, following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 accord with Tehran…