Iran’s top security official says Tehran welcomes and supports any dialogue-based initiative for establishment of peace between Russia and Ukraine, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help end the simmering war.
Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with the visiting Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Tehran.
“Iran welcomes and backs any initiative that leads to a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine based on dialogue, and is ready to play a role in ending the war,” Shamkhani said.
Referring to regional and global developments, he stressed that “dialogue as well as regional and international cooperation” are the path to resolution of current challenges and crises.
The remarks come amid allegations that Iran has provided Russia with weapons and drones to be used against Ukraine. Tehran has multiple times rejected in the strongest terms the Western claims, saying the country has had defense cooperation with Moscow for long and pursues a resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
For his part, Patrushev also briefed the senior Iranian official on the crisis in Ukraine, pointing to the constant efforts of Western media to distort realities.
“Since the beginning [of the war], the Western media empire made extensive efforts through distorting realities to deviate the world’s public opinion about how the crisis had started and about truths on the ground,” said the Russian official.
He noted that Western countries, especially the US, are seeking to “impose” their political will on independent states through “hybrid wars” which he said was a violation of the UN Charter.
The two officials also conferred on ways to increase bilateral economic cooperation amid unilateral sanctions imposed against both countries by Western states.
Shamkhani said that expanding bilateral and regional cooperation in the economic field with neighboring states is among the top “strategic priorities” of the country.
He referred to the importance of “strengthening the process of bilateral cooperation in energy, transportation, agriculture, trade, banking, and environment with Russia,” calling for adopting necessary measures to remove the barriers immediately.
Iran and Russia can establish joint institutions to “confront sanctions,” he said, calling for using the capacities of international institutions against sanctions and boycotters.
Patrushev, for his part, voiced satisfaction with Tehran-Moscow cooperation gaining momentum in various fields.
Touching upon previous agreements clinched between national security bodies of Iran and Russia, and a roadmap of strategic cooperation, especially on countering economic and technological sanctions, the Russian official said that the main goal of his visit to Tehran was to exchange views over speeding up the implementation of joint projects, as well as providing dynamic mechanisms to start new activities in the economic, commercial, energy and technology fields.
One of the “effective steps” on this path, he maintained, is to boost transit capacities, especially to rapidly complete the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
Meanwhile, in a statement about the meeting, the Russian Security Council said the two sides had discussed “information security, as well as measures to counter interference in the internal affairs of both countries by Western special services,” TASS news agency reported.
“The economic potential of Russia and Iran and building foreign trade relations in the face of sanctions pressure was emphasized,” it added.