Sergey Lavrov at Russia’s Vadai Club

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Sergey Lavrov at Russia’s Valdai Discussion Club

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Annual Valdai Discussion Club sessions bring together international experts in various fields to share views on major issues with others.

The club’s goal is to promote dialogue among international experts with their Russian counterparts.

This year’s theme is “the Middle East in Search for Lost Awakening.” 

Below are Sergey Lavrov’s remarks in response to questions posed.

The Middle East’s importance is largely because of its vast hydrocarbon reserves and attempts to control them.

Lavrov believes that the region will remain geopolitically important when nations “convert to hydrocarbon-free energy” — around 2050 to 2060, he estimates.

He stressed what’s highly unlikely to happen, at least not any time soon, saying:

(T)he Middle East should cease to be an arena where the interests of leading powers clash.” 

“It is necessary to balance these interests and to reconcile them among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as among non-regional partners.”

Because of hegemon USA’s agenda, the region is likely to be a battleground for years to come — including efforts by the US to benefit Israeli interests.

Commenting on China’s involvement in the region, including its longterm strategic partnership with Iran, Lavrov stressed that Beijing promotes economic development within the framework of its Belt and Road initiative.

Instead of honest competition among nations supported by China and Russia, the US and its imperial partners aim to undermine the interests of other nations to benefit their own.

Moscow and Beijing advance multilateral dialogue with other nations.

Iran operates the same way. Its ruling authorities also support a Hormuz peace initiative that’s opposed by the US-dominated West.

When competition respects the rights of all nations, Lavrov called it a “welcome trend,” adding:

“For our part, we do not insist on the formula set forth in our Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf.” 

“We are inviting all parties to dialogue.” 

“As the Chinese say, let a hundred flowers bloom.” 

“We should come together, exchange ideas and balance interests.” 

“Without this, everything will be unsteady and fragile.”

Vladimir Putin supports a summit among leaders of the five permanent Security Council states, an idea favored by China.

Washington opposes whatever promote world peace, stability and cooperative relations with other countries.

A summit if held would achieve nothing positive because of this view and its hegemonic aims — despite the best intentions of other nations.

While my geopolitical views are in line with Lavrov’s, I disagree with his belief that Biden regime hardliners seek to break the deadlock with Iran over the JCPOA, and by so doing return to the landmark agreement.

Their actions reveal otherwise.

There’s no ambiguity about how to break deadlock.

It’s as simple as Washington returning to compliance with what’s stipulated by Security Council Res. 2231 — what Blinken-led hardliners refuse to do, so deadlock persists with no signs of changing things.

No “compromise solution” exists that omits lifting all illegal sanctions imposed on Iran by Trump regime hardliners and Congress — again what Biden’s geopolitical team refuses to do.

I agree with Lavrov’s view that the US-dominated West seeks to “restore the JCPOA, but not in its previous form,” adding:

They want “extra restrictions on the missile program” and other unacceptable demands no responsible government would accept.

Iran is willing to discuss all issues with the US and West after illegal sanctions are lifted and the JCPOA is restored in its original form.

Anything less is unacceptable.

While Lavrov hopes that hostile Western policies toward Iran will shift “to common sense and US notions of creating a” Middle East/Asia/Pacific NATO “will fade from the scene,” reality strongly indicates otherwise as he understands well.

These notions may fade from lack of interest among other nations — especially in the Asia/Pacific where most countries value Chinese investments and trade relations.

They won’t die from dominant US hardliners ceasing efforts to push what benefits their imperial aims.

Russia, China, Iran and other nonbelligerent countries support whatever furthers world peace and stability.

Under both right wings of its war party, US policy is polar opposite.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.