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Russia hopes friction between Iran, Azerbaijan will be settled soon

Russia hopes that friction between Iran and Azerbaijan is temporary and will be settled soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Russia is ready to provide all necessary assistance for the reconciliation between the two countries, Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow, following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“We hope that the current friction in relations between Baku and Tehran is temporary and will be overcome as soon as possible,” he said.

Asked about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, Lavrov said: “We follow the contacts that take place between Iranian colleagues and Europeans, between Iranian colleagues and Americans. We proceed from the fact that this contact will bring about the result that everybody is talking about – the resumption of full-fledged implementation of the agreements on Iran’s nuclear program.”

Lavrov added that the “world is still waiting for the US to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear deal,” including lifting of “all illegal sanctions against Iran.”

The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, UK, Russia, France, and China — plus Germany and the EU.

Under the deal, Iran pledged to limit nuclear research that may be used in arms production, while the Western countries obliged to lift sanctions in return.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the landmark agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to retaliate by taking steps away from its nuclear-related commitments.

Lavrov said he also discussed the situation in Ukraine with his Iranian counterpart and welcomed Tehran’s “balanced position.”

“Once again, we have pointed to the subversive line taken by NATO countries, which have been involved in the conflict for a long time and are being drawn deeper and deeper into it – though I don’t think it is hardly possible to get more involved. They are practically fighting on the side of the Kyiv regime,” he added.

Commenting on remarks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who said proposals for an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine could be a “cynical trap,” Lavrov said the West sees its own geopolitical interests in the war and therefore “does not want to stop it.”

“In this war, it (the West) is pursuing its own geopolitical interests, primarily in terms of attempts to eliminate Russia as a competitor on the world scene,” the Russian minister said.

On Tuesday, Blinken said: “I think we should all be aware and watch out for what looks like well-intentioned efforts, like calls for a ceasefire, but in reality, can freeze the conflict, allowing Russia to consolidate its gains, just buy time to rest, resupply, and attack again.”

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