Iran must not be isolated – Russian senator

The Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov is to travel to Iran for talks with the Iranian leadership on the situation in the region.

The visit is to last from February 19 to 21, Margelov told Interfax.

“I plan to meet with the Iranian foreign minister, with the leader of the parliamentary foreign relations committee, Iran’s ex-president, the head of the Expediency Discernment Council Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Islamic Council Assembly and other officials,” he said.

The world’s attitude to Iran is somewhat cautious today, Margelov continued. “A nontransparent nuclear program, retaliatory sanctions from the West, incomplete understanding of Iran’s role in settling the Iraq problem, plus tough anti-Israeli rhetoric coming from certain Iranian politicians, as well as scandals over the Prophet Muhammad caricatures are just a share of the problems which negatively affect the situation, already complicated,” the senator said.

“All of these factors have been pushing Iran beyond the orbit of the present-day system of international relations, provoking mutual anger and further worsening the situation in Iran and in neighboring states. This is unacceptable,” he said.

Russia sees Iran as a long-time and reliable partner, believing that only through joint efforts can the parties resolve many of the regional problems in the Caspian region, in Central Asia, in the Transcaucasus, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as problems of international terrorism and illicit drug trade, Margelov said.

“Our bilateral relations are an important component in a system crucial for regional stability in the whole of Central Asia. Given the role inter-parliamentary contacts have been playing in promoting Russian-Iranian relations in the critical period the region is going through, it is extremely important to intensify these contacts,” he said.

The examples of Libya and North Korea show that even the most complex nuclear problems can be settled through diplomacy. But to do so, one would need a well-developed system of diplomatic contacts, agreements and economic ties,” the senator said.

“Russia and Iran have a great potential in this respect,” said Margelov. sd

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