World, Middle East

Russia calls on Iran, Israel to hold dialogue

Russian foreign minister calls on Iranian, Israeli leadership to avoid actions that could be ‘mutually provoking’

10.05.2018
Russia calls on Iran, Israel to hold dialogue Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas (L) meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) in Moscow, Russia on May 10, 2018. ( Sefa Karacan - Anadolu Agency )

Moskova

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday called on Iran and Israel to resolve their difference through dialogue.

His remarks came after the Israeli army claimed that Iranian forces in Syria had fired 20 rockets into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights last night, but all had been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system.

In a separate statement, the Israeli army claimed its fighter jets had struck some 50 military targets associated with Iran’s Quds Force inside Syrian territory.

"In our contacts with Iranian and Israeli leadership we stressed the necessity to avoid actions that could be mutually provoking", Lavrov said, speaking at a news conference in Moscow, following his meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes, saying that 28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 warplanes had fired 60 air missiles and 10 surface-to-surface missiles at Iranian troop concentrations and air-defense systems inside Syria.

For his part, German foreign minister said Berlin followed the happening on the Golan Heights with "a great concern".

"We follow with a great concern the happenings on the Golan Heights […] This is unacceptable", Maas said.

Tehran has yet to officially react to the strikes.   

'Lying' 

But Abolfazl Hassan Beige, a member of Iran's parliamentary national security committee, accused Israel of “lying” about the strikes, denying any Iranian involvement in Wednesday’s alleged missile attack in the Golan Heights.

The official went on to assert that there was “no Iranian military presence, no military bases in Syria”.

Speaking about the U.S. decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal, Lavrov said Russia "appreciated Iran's balanced reaction" to the U.S. move.

On May 9, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew its country from its participation in the landmark nuclear agreement world powers struck with Iran in 2015.

Commenting on the U.S. intention to reestablish sanctions against Iran, Lavrov said the lifting of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran could not be cancelled.

"The Iran deal is not only about sanctions but more about regional stability and non-proliferation of the mass destruction weapons", Lavrov added.

The German foreign minister said his country, France and the U.K. would act depending on Iran's abidance to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA).

"It is very important to save the adherence to this agreement and today we spoke about it," Maas said.

The two ministers also discussed the situation in the east of Ukraine.

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