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Russia Seeks to Defuse Tension between Tehran, Washington | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Billboard showing Trump and Putin in the town of Danilovgrad/AFP

Moscow – Russia tried on Monday to ease Washington’s escalating stances against Tehran by vowing to exert all efforts that could reduce tension between both countries – particularly that Moscow is worried by the latest positions of U.S. President Donald Trump and several members of his new administration.

The Kremlin said on Monday it did not agree with Trump’s description of Iran as “the number one terrorist state.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Russia does not agree with this definition.

“It’s no secret for anyone that Moscow and Washington hold diametrically-opposed views on many international and regional policy issues,” said Peskov. “Meanwhile, it can’t be and should not be an obstacle when it comes to forging normal communication and pragmatic mutually-beneficial relations between Russia and the U.S.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried on Monday to play with the term of “cooperation against terrorism.”

The Russian foreign minister said: “Iran contributes to fight against ISIS via the armed forces, which it supports on the Syrian territory, at the request of the Syrian government, and we have been advocating for a long time for establishing a universal front line 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.”

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Iran was the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.

Also, Russian ambassador in Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said his country was concerned by escalating rhetoric between the U.S. and Iran.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal quoted “senior sources” within the National Security Council as saying the Trump Administration aspires to orchestrate a strategic diplomatic and military “wedge” between Russia and Iran to accelerate a potential U.S.-Russian solution to the Syrian civil war and gain greater Russian support for a new Trump plan to eradicate ISIS.