31 May 2019 10:51

Russia to welcome Iran-U.S. talks, not to push for its services - Lavrov

TOKYO. May 31 (Interfax) - Moscow will welcome Iranian-U.S. talks but is not going to push for its mediation services, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Tokyo on Friday.

"As for relations between the United States and Iran, we do not push for our services but we will welcome the beginning of negotiations, just like we hail the negotiating process between the United States and North Korea and deem important to start talks on Venezuelan affairs," Lavrov said.

"At the same time, we believe that negotiations based on the principle 'first I will smother you economically and then you will beg us for a deal' are not what we see as a behavioral model in the field of foreign policy," Lavrov said.

"We favor a dialogue based on mutual respect and devoid of ultimatums and preconditions," he said.

The Iranian administration has given an answer to Washington and "underlined there will be no dialogue against the backdrop of blackmail and smothering sanctions, which the United States is trying to thrust upon the rest of the world in violation of the UN Security Council resolution," Lavrov said.

"Once again, we will support any contacts the sides may establish on the basis of mutual respect and with mutual consent," he said.