Tehran is Moscow’s ally and is not linked to terrorism, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in Jerusalem on Tuesday as he slammed attempts to speak of Iran as a regional threat.
Patrushev was in Jerusalem for a historic trilateral meeting with US and Israeli national security advisors John Bolton and Meir Ben-Shabbat.
“Iran has been and will be an ally and partner of ours, with which we have gradually developing ties for quite some time, both bilaterally and multilaterally. Any attempts to make Tehran look like the main threat to global security, to put it in the same basket as ISIS or any other terror group, are unacceptable.
“Iran has been contributing a lot to the fight against terrorism in Syria, helping to stabilize the situation. We call upon our partners to exercise restraint and to take efforts to alleviate the concerns and tensions. Efforts should be made to decrease tensions between Israel and Iran,” Patrushev said.
Patrushev, Netanyahu, Bolton and Ben-Shabbat spoke warmly when they met together before the trilateral meeting. But in his press briefing after the trilateral, Patrushev words showed the deep divide that remained between Russia and its US and Israeli allies.
Patrushev dismissed the charge that Iran had recently torpedoed US tankers and called for an investigation into the matter.
“We should not assign blame, we should just get to the bottom of this issue,” he said. He added that he believed that the US drone was in Iranian airspace when Tehran shot it down.
Patrushev said that Israeli airstrikes against Iranian military in Syria were “unwelcome.” He added, “we said we need a more efficient cooperation between the ministries of defense of Russia and Israel. Many of the airstrikes could have been prevented. That is the way to alleviate the concerns of Israel and we need to alleviate the concerns of Israel by non-military means.”
Steps have to be taken to “decrease tension between Israel and Tehran by taking steps on both sides toward that goal. Syria should not become a geopolitical arena for confrontation,” Patrushev said.
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