Lavrov expresses condolences to Iran in wake of illegal killing of Soleimani

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TEHRAN – The foreign Ministers of Russia and Iran, Sergey Lavrov and Javad Zarif, held telephone conversations, which were held at the initiative of the Iranian side.

According to the press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry , one of the main topics of this conversation was the murder in Baghdad of the head of the elite Iranian unit, General Qassem Soleimani . The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed his condolences to his Iranian counterpart in connection with the incident.

Lavrov went further and expressed in official terms Russia’s position that the klling of Soleimani was grossly illegal and adds to instability in the region.

“The ministers emphasized that US actions are a gross violation of fundamental international law and do not contribute to finding solutions to the complex problems that have accumulated in the Middle East, but lead to a new round of escalation of tension in the region,” the report said.

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Soleimani was killed on the night of January 3 as a result of an American air strike at Baghdad airport. Along with him, the deputy commander of the Iraqi People’s Mobilization Force Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also died. Later, the Iranian Permanent Representative to the UN regarded US actions as an act of war and promised Washington a “mirror response” to the murder of Soleimani .

Turkey, Cuba and Afghanistan have also condemned the US act of terrorism in assassinating Lt. General Soleimani and expressed condolences in separate messages, today.

As tensions escalate alongside the very realistic prospect of a major war, Iran is seeking to understand the full scope of Russia’s security commitments regarding the Islamic Republic. The two countries have had a tacit military alliance for nearly a decade, one that has been demonstrated in the Syrian conflict where both countries acted on the request of the Syrian government. It is unlikely that Russia will be drawn into a direct military conflict with the U.S or Israel, but can support Tehran through any number of channels to reach a stabilizing minimum, which ensures Tehran’s primary security prerogatives.

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