MOSCOW – Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower house) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin blamed the United States for the exacerbation of tensions in the Middle East that led to the launch of the Iranian missile at the passenger plane of the Ukraine International Airlines near Tehran.
“The US-bred tensions certainly caused Iran and other countries in the region to alert their defenses. We have said more than once that all this results in soaring tensions and, consequently, to conflicts,” Volodin told the State Duma on Tuesday in response to a statement on this score by the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
“Escalation of tensions is fraught with many risks, including such missile launches. Our country has reiterated and it says again that it is essential to be guided by international rules and principles that we have,” Volodin stated, adding that “these issues should be discussed in the United Nations, too. Trying to decide the fate of other people and whole countries the way the United States does merely leads to chaos, wars and tragedies”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also stated that all passengers, including 57 Canadians (mostly Iranian Canadians), on board of the Ukraine International Airlines aircraft would still be alive if tensions in the Middle East had not escalated.
A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew, mostly Iranians, crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday, leaving no survivors. Tehran has announced that the jet was mistakenly shot down amid fears of war with the United States.
Tensions in the Middle East have surged following the US assassination of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last Friday. On Wednesday, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two American military bases in Iraq in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of Tehran’s elite commander.