Iran’s Khamenei calls for ending Ukraine war

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tehran supports efforts to end the war in Ukraine, while calling US policies the “root cause of the crisis” in the eastern European country.

Khamenei, who had so far desisted from commenting on the simmering crisis in Ukraine, made the remarks in a televised speech on Tuesday.

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“Solution to any crisis” lies in its “root cause”, he said, blaming Washington and its allies for stoking the Ukrainian crisis, and referring to Ukrainians as “victims” of US policies.

“The US dragged Ukraine to where it is now,” he said. “By interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, creating color revolutions and toppling one government and putting another in power, the US dragged Ukraine into this situation.”

He said there are “lessons” to be drawn from the crisis in Ukraine, adding that the government that relies on the US “should know it’s only a mirage”.

Khamenei said the Ukrainian government didn’t enjoy people’s support. “If Ukrainians supported their government, the situation would have been different from the current crisis,” he said.

He dubbed the United States as a “mafia regime”, saying Ukraine had “fallen victim” to its policies.

“The US survives on (creating) tension, they feed on the crisis,” he said. “If the US doesn’t stoke tension, their weapons industry will not be able to flourish.”

Iran, a close ally of Russia, has blamed the US-led NATO military alliance for the crisis in Ukraine, which was triggered by Russia’s military operation last week.

In his remarks on Sunday, President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran supports any “diplomatic effort” that leads to a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis and is ready to play the role of a peace-maker.

Raisi said Iran understands Russia’s “security concerns” owing to “decades of NATO expansion”, but calls for “safeguarding territorial integrity and national sovereignty” of Ukraine.

In a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last week, Raisi said the eastward expansion of NATO was a “source of tension” for regional countries.

“The expansion of NATO is a serious threat to the stability and security of independent nations in different regions,” Raisi told Putin.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a statement on Thursday, also said that resorting to war was “not a solution” while blaming NATO’s “provocations” for the crisis in Ukraine.– AA

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