Will Iran's non-aggression initiative save Middle East?

Will Iran's non-aggression initiative save Middle East?

Moscow welcomes an Iranian initiative to conclude a non-aggression pact with the Persian Gulf countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

According to him, this step can ease tensions in the region.

"To agree not to attack each other is the first step to defuse the tension. We would consider such an agreement to be beneficial," TASS cited the Russian foreign minister as saying.

Lavrov cited a previous Russian offer to Arab countries to help work out a security conception, suggesting transparency in military affairs, joint military exercises and other confidence-building measures among Arab countries, the UN, EU and five permanent members of the UN security Council as guarantors.

"So far, there is no common position among the Arabs on this matter," he added.

Commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to send 1,500 troops to the Middle East, the Russian top diplomat said that it may increase risks in the region. "As you know, risks always grow during a military buildup," Lavrov stressed.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Iran's non-aggression initiative was a very strong diplomatic step. "Tehran’s proposal ruins the plans of those who planned to bring the situation in the region to the point close to the start of hostilities, as it change the development of events to thinking about what could be done to ensure that the countries of the region live in peace, developing normal relations with each other," he explained.

"It will not be easy for Arab countries to meet these proposals, they will have to revise a number of significant points in their policies. But I think that it should be done. In principle, the region should return to the January 1992 formula of creating a multilateral mechanism for the formation of regional security systems. Therefore, I hail Tehran’s proposal. Russia will fully assist the Iranian counterparts in establishing its favorable situation in the region," Andrei Baklanov stressed.

"I have to say with deep regret that the Persian Gulf states miraculously gave rein to outside forces, reacting strongly to provocative information attacks of the last 3-4 years. I see no serious basis for hostility between them and Iran, it is artificial. But according to the available information, the implementation of a number of U.S. contracts for the supply of weapons to the region has slowed down in recent months - while the Middle East buys 52% of U.S. weapon. Therefore, the Americans artificially increase tension in order to maintain their sales," the diplomat concluded.