Need to Defuse Russia-Turkey Tensions

Need to Defuse  Russia-Turkey TensionsNeed to Defuse  Russia-Turkey Tensions

A senior official said Iran seeks to help settle the ongoing dispute between Russia and Turkey because such conflicts are detrimental to the interests of Middle East states.

In an interview with state television on Saturday night, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution, said Iran urges the two countries to show foresight and not fan the flame of discord.

"Some Turkish press are crossing the marks of propriety, throwing insults at Russia, which will not be helpful," he said.

The war of words between the two countries started after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet last month that it said violated Turkish airspace, which claim has been rejected by Russians.

Referring to the recent claim by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about "warning" Iran about the consequences of accusing Turkey of purchasing crude oil from the Islamic State militant group, Velayati said Iran is a powerful and effective country that does not care about "unconsidered statements".

If Iran was supposed to stop seeking justice because of warnings, it may not be holding its current status, he said, adding that Iran has even stood against the US, which has never been able to impose its will on Iran. "Russians have announced this issue and released some photos proving the allegations … There is no need for more evidences," the senior advisor said.  

On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry released photo and video proof that the main smuggling route for oil produced by IS militants runs through Turkey, accusing Turkish leadership of being involved in the oil trade.

  Moderate/Radical Terrorists

About the authorization of airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday by the British Parliament after which British fighter planes carried out their first sorties, Velayati said they are bombing IS positions but do not hit members of the Free Syrian Army terrorist group, while terrorists are terrorists, "be they moderate or radical".

Velayati, who is also the director of the Expediency Council's Center for Strategic Research, said the expiration date of IS has arrived because they have crossed the West's redlines.

"We have reliable evidences that show IS was bombed by the US only when it crossed their redline," he said.

The advisor noted that IS could overtake Ramadi as the Americans kept on watching.

"When IS militants were moving toward Ramadi, the capital of Al Anbar Governorate, [which led to its fall on 14 May], they passed beside a US military base but Americans did nothing [to stop them]," he said.

"It is the same in Syria," Velayati added, stressing that IS militants are free to move around oil wells, without being bombed by the US-led coalition.

Pointing to his last Sunday's trip to Syria in which he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Velayati said President Assad is satisfied with the recent gains of Syrian Army near Aleppo and Latakia, and is optimistic about the prospect of defeating terrorists.

During his trip to Damascus, Velayati reiterated Tehran’s full support for the Syrian government, saying that the Islamic Republic will continue to stand by the Syrian nation.