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Iran must be part of universal front against terrorism: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart (not seen) in Moscow on February 6, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Russia has rejected allegations by the US that Iran sponsors terrorism, stressing that Tehran must be present in the anti-terror front.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Monday, noting that Iran has never had ties with terrorist organizations.

"Iran has never been seen having any ties with Daesh or al-Nusra Front, or any other structure affiliated with these terrorist organizations and included in the relevant UN Security Council list," he said.

He added that Iran has contributed to the battle against Daesh in Syria by the request of the government in Damascus, noting that Russia has always advocated a universal front against terrorism.

“I am convinced that if we have an objective approach toward potential participants of such a coalition, Iran, of course, needs to be part of our common efforts," Lavrov added.

Russia’s foreign minister was responding to remarks made by US President Donald Trump on Sunday during an interview with Fox news, in which he said Iran was “terrorist state number one.”

US Defense Secretary James Mattis attends an honor guard ceremony with his South Korean counterpart Han Min-Koo (not seen) at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on February 3, 2017. 

On Saturday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis also called Iran “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”  

Reacting to that remark on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said, “We disagree with this postulate.”

He added that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is currently under arrangement.

“Such contacts are being prepared. We’ll inform you of the possible date in due time,” he said.

Iranian officials have also rejected the US accusations and stressing that Iran is a key country on the battlefront against terrorism. Iran has been offering advisory military support to Iraq and Syria in the two Arab countries’ fight on terrorism. The Islamic Republic has been cooperating with Russia in assisting the Syrian government.

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