The Kremlin Monday relayed its profound disagreement with United States President Donald Trump’s assessment of Iran as “the number one terrorist state.”
A Russian diplomat said any U.S. attempt to reopen an Iran nuclear deal would inflame tensions in the Middle East.
Trump told Fox News in an interview aired at the weekend that Iran had “total disregard” for the United States and labeled Tehran “the number one terrorist state”, complaining it was sending arms and weapons “all over the world”.
Trump and Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, have made clear they want to try to mend U.S.-Russia ties, which have slid to a post-Cold War low in recent years.
Different approaches to Iran, as set out by a raft of top Russian officials on Monday, could complicate any rapprochement. Their comments also suggest that a policy idea Trump and his aides are reported to be considering — to try to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran — may be a non-starter.
Trump spoke out after his administration put the Iran “on notice” following an the test-firing of a ballistic missile and imposed new economic sanctions on Friday.
Two sources told Reuters last week the Trump administration was now exploring how to renegotiate key terms of the 2015 accord between Tehran and six world powers, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program. But several top officials in Russia, which has worked closely with Iran to support despot Bashar al-Assad in Syria, signaled on Monday that they fundamentally disagreed with Trump’s approach to Tehran.