MOSCOW (AA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Russia is concerned about the “escalation” around Iran.
Lavrov criticized US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said Washington was considering “military options to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
The top Russian diplomat pointed out that religious leaders in Iran long ago issued a ‘fatwa’ — a legal ruling on a point of Islamic law — prohibiting the development of nuclear weapons.
“The Iranian religious leadership has long issued a fatwa that prohibits the development of nuclear weapons. If anyone had doubts about this, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) provided the most stringent and strict regime for verifying Iran’s nuclear program,” he said at a news conference in Moscow, following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.
He noted that despite statements about NATO’s non-involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, the alliance has long been taking part in a “hybrid war against Russia.”
Lavrov said the Russian army is “taking all measures to ensure that the plans of the West in Ukraine do not come true.”
Lavrov praised Russian-Egyptian cooperation, including in the military domain and said both countries are “seriously” concerned about the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We reaffirmed on both sides the need to restart the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations as soon as possible in the interests of resolving key issues,” he said.
Shoukry said Egypt plans to expand trade with Russia in different areas and increase the share of payments in national currencies.
“We have been working for a long time to develop appropriate mechanisms that will allow us, in the spirit of greater sovereignty, to use them (national currencies) in our trading operations. We intend to increase the volume of transactions in these currencies,” he said.