TEHRAN (Realist English). Iran’s neutral position in the Ukrainian conflict is very important for Russia. This was stated by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan in an interview with the Iranian Armenian-language edition ԱԼԻՔ (“Alik”).
“You correctly noted Iran’s neutral position. The Islamic Republic of Iran is very sensitive to issues related to territorial integrity. The position taken by Iran as a friendly state is very important for us,” Dzhagaryan said in an interview with a correspondent, referring to the speech of the Supreme leader of Iran, who spoke on the origins of this tension, in particular, about the United States, which, together with its allies, did everything possible for the Ukrainian authorities to force Russia to launch a special operation.
According to the Russian diplomat, “there was no other way out: if Russia had not launched a special operation, then, according to plans, they were going to attack both Crimea and Donbass on March 8.” Referring to the negotiation format of the “Normandy Four” consisting of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, Dzhagaryan recalled that the Ukraine did not recognize and did not want to fulfill the points mentioned in the Minsk Agreements of 2015: “What is important here is that this document has Ukraine’s signature – [Petro] Poroshenko signed this document and if the agreement is signed, then you must comply with its clauses.”
“I want to draw parallels now with the events in Georgia in 2008, when [Georgian President Mikhail] Saakashvili attacked South Ossetia and, based on the promises made to him by the West, began military operations and was defeated. We had to intervene, and what was the result? They lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Unfortunately, it’s the same now: [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky did not take into account the bitter experience of Saakashvili. And where is Saakashvili now? He is in a Georgian prison.” The diplomat draws parallels, adding that the agreement was a very worthy document that could serve as a basis for a peaceful settlement, but the Ukrainian leadership did not want this.
Regarding the current situation and the extent to which Iran can play a positive role in solving the problems caused by sanctions against Russia, Dzhagaryan recalled that the Iranian ambassador to Russia is also planning meetings and the parties are going to resume negotiations to find out how useful they can be to each other:
“Now, for example, Russia needs some medicines and food products that we do not produce in sufficient quantities, and we can be useful to Iran to some extent… We will find a way to overcome these sanctions. I would like to point out that this is not the first time they have been used against us. We’ll see who will suffer more from the sanctions. In 2014, when sanctions were first imposed on Russia, we gained quite a lot of experience.”