Iran’s President Aligns With Russia In Warning Against Expansion Of NATO

In a phone call with his Russian counterpart after the escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi cautioned that NATO’s expansion poses a serious threat to the stability and security of the independent states in different regions.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Iranian President Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin talked about the international developments and the Vienna talks on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian president stated that the expansion of the NATO to the East creates tensions, stressing, “The expansion of the NATO is a serious threat to the stability and security of independent countries in different regions.”

He also expressed hope that what is happening would end up to the benefit of the nations and the region, according to the president’s official website.

Referring to the Vienna talks, President Raisi reiterated that Iran is seeking a lasting agreement, not a shaky one. “Providing a credible guarantee, ending political claims and the actual lifting of sanctions are among the necessities of reaching a lasting agreement.”

For his part, the Russian president described the current situation as a legitimate response to decades of breaches of security treaties and the West’s efforts to undermine his country’s security.

Referring to Iran’s active cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Putin stressed the importance of continuing consultations between the two sides on nuclear talks.

The phone call came amid Russia’s military operation in the eastern parts of Ukraine, which started after Putin said he had ordered the Russian Federation’s military to carry out a “special military operation” in the Donbass region. Putin’s order came after the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbass region asked the Kremlin for military assistance in response to what they called “Ukrainian aggression.”

In 2014, Ukraine’s two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were turned into self-proclaimed republics by ethnic Russians, leading to a bloody conflict between the government forces and the armed separatists.

On Monday, Putin signed a decree recognizing the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions as independent republics. The recognition followed an address in which he referred to eastern Ukraine as “ancient Russian lands” being “managed by foreign powers.”

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