Middle East, Russia-Ukraine War

Iran blames US-led NATO provocations for Ukraine crisis

Iran asks nationals in Ukraine to 'avail every opportunity to leave'

Syed Zafar Mehdi   | 24.02.2022
Iran blames US-led NATO provocations for Ukraine crisis

TEHRAN, Iran 

Iran on Thursday blamed US-led NATO provocations for the Ukrainian crisis and called on all parties to avoid escalation.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahiann said the crisis was “rooted in the NATO provocations".

"We do not see resorting to war as a solution. Establishing a cease-fire and focusing on a political and democratic solution is a necessity," he noted.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, urged Iranian nationals in Ukraine to "avail every opportunity to leave" the country.

In a statement on Thursday, the embassy called on Iranians residing or studying in the crisis-stricken country to "leave" or "stay in safe places" identified by local authorities.

It also urged its nationals, especially those in the capital Kyiv, to "avoid approaching military (areas) and other sensitive centers".

The statement said the embassy will continue consultations with the local Ukrainian authorities "to obtain flight permit" as and when the restrictions are eased.

In an earlier advisory on Tuesday, the Iranian embassy had advised Iranians living in Ukraine to refrain from traveling to "high risk areas" and asked students to "temporarily leave the country".

Amir-Abdollahian also urged Iranian nationals in Ukraine to "stay in safe places or leave", urging them to follow advisories issued by the embassy.

He also spoke with the Iranian Ambassador in Kyiv, Manuchehr Moradi, asking him to "provide round the clock services" to Iranians stationed in Ukraine, and facilitate their exit.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have heightened in recent days, pushing the two estranged neighbors to the brink of war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin early on Thursday green-lighted a military operation in Ukraine, marking a fresh escalation that has drawn condemnations from around the world.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh had earlier urged "all sides" to "exercise restraint" and resolve their differences through "dialogue".

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