Iranian Speaker Blames NATO over Russia-Ukraine War
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf blasted Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for the outbreak and continuation of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, and once again called for the ceasefire between the two neighbors.
Qalibaf made the remarks at the Ninth BRICS Parliamentary Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday.
"Currently, the US is the main state the effectively opposes the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and vetoes all formulas for ceasefire and peace," he said.
The speaker named the "NATO and US expansionism" as the "most important reason" of the conflict.
Qalibaf also added that Iran consistently advocates an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine.
"Political instability has intensified in most countries across the globe and the trend towards extremism is growing. Terrorism has endangered the security of different parts of the world. Wars begin without any prospect of ending," the senior official warned.
Iranian officils say the war between Russia and Ukraine has been the outcome of the hegemonic policies and excessive demands of the US and its allies, and call on the architects of the crisis and its supporters to reconsider their wrong attitudes.
Tehran has reiterated that it will not help either side in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and cautioned that arming Moscow or Kyiv will prolong the war between the two neighbors.
NATO has undergone several waves of expansion between 1999 and 2020, swallowing up every former member of the defunct Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, three ex-Soviet republics and four republics from the former Yugoslavia. The expansion took place despite former US Secretary of State James Baker's verbal promise to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 not to expand the alliance “one inch” East of the territory of the former East Germany following that country’s annexation by the Federal Republic.
In 2008, NATO recognized the aspirations of the pro-Western governments of Ukraine and Georgia to see their countries join the alliance, sparking serious security concerns from Moscow. Tensions between Russia and the West were exacerbated in 2014, after the Ukrainian government was overthrown in a coup d’état orchestrated by Washington, and the post-coup government in Kiev reiterated its ambitions join the European Union and NATO.
In Late February 2022, President Vladimir Putin stated in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
In a meeting with President Putin in Tehran in July 2022, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei slammed the NATO as dangerous entity that knows no borders and boundaries and had to be stopped in Ukraine.
“War is a harsh and difficult reality, and the Islamic Republic will in no way be happy if it entangles ordinary people,” the Leader said.
The Supreme Leader emphasized that the Western powers are opposed to the existence of a strong and independent Russia, arguing that the NATO is a dangerous creature, and if the path before it is left open, it realizes no borders and boundaries.
“If NATO’s path had not been blocked in Ukraine, a while later on pretext of the Crimean Peninsula they would have begun the same war,” he added.
Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi has also cautioned that the expansion of the NATO is a serious threat to the stability and security of nations.
He described NATO's expansionist policies as one of the causes of insecurity and instability in different parts of the world and stated, "As foreign policy thinkers, advise politicians and statesmen so that the people of different parts of the world do not bear the cost of their mistakes".
Elsewhere in his remarks, Qalibaf underscored the important role of the BRICS group of developing nations in creating independent financial infrastructure to focus on eliminating monopolies in the banking and international financial messengers with the aim of making it easier for member states to interact.
"Today, world requires a justice-seeking and spiritual atmosphere and that the BRICS group of major emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - can play an important role in this regard," the Iranian official underlined.
He described the connection to the global financial system as a right for all countries, but, he stressed, the US and some other countries are holding the needs of other nations as hostage and preventing their access to medicine and food.
The parliament speaker continued to note that Washington is waging a hybrid war against Tehran as it does not dare a direct confrontation, explaining that the United States in its hybrid war against Iran has employed various means, including media and propaganda warfare and harsh sanctions to to destabilize the country.
Back in early July, Iran officially became a full-fledged member of the SCO which accounts for 40 percent of the world's population and 28 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
The SCO is a Central Asian political, economic, security and defense organization, which is the world's largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population.
It was founded by China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in 2001, and currently forms the world's biggest regional market with eight official members, and three observer states. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.
Iran has had an observer status at the organization, and in mid-September 2022, it signed a Memorandum of Obligations to become a permanent member of the SCO.
On the final day of a summit of the BRICS group last week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Iran is among six countries invited to join the powerful bloc as new members next year.
BRICS previously expanded only once in 2010, when South Africa joined the organization. The admission was made without any prerequisites.
BRICS countries currently account for 40% of the world’s population and almost a third of the global economy.
The group touts itself as an alternative to Western-dominated international institutions, stressing that its approach better reflects the emerging multipolar world. As Western influence dwindled, its leaders leveraged tools under their control, such as the dollar, to protect its hegemonic position, BRICS members state. Participants of the summit expressed confidence that the organization’s influence will continue to grow.
The administration of President Rayeesi has since taking office been trying to tap into the potential of the regional, economic, political and security alliances, which can further secure Iran’s national interest within the framework of multilateralism.