The Kremlin’s chief foreign policy adviser on Wednesday told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to refrain from “political demagoguery” after Tehran admonished Russia for supporting new sanctions.
The public clash came after Ahmadinejad chided Russia for bowing to U.S. pressure over new sanctions against Tehran and bluntly warned Kremlin chief Dmitry Medvedev to be more cautious.
But Medvedev’s top foreign policy advisor, Sergei Prikhodko, dismissed the criticism, saying Russia was neither pro-American nor pro-Iranian and that Moscow’s policy was governed by the national interest.
“No one has ever managed to preserve one’s authority with political demagoguery. I am convinced, the thousand-year history of Iran itself is evidence of this,” Prikhodko said in a statement.
“The Russian Federation is governed by its own long-term state interests. Our position is Russian: it reflects the interests of all the peoples of greater Russia and so it can be neither pro-American nor pro-Iranian,” he said.
In a clear rebuke to Tehran over its failure to allay fears about its nuclear programme, Prikhodko said that Russia could not accept inconsistency and a lack of transparency in resolving major world issues.
“Any unpredictability, any political extremism, lack of transparency or inconsistency in taking decisions that affect and concern the entire world community is unacceptable for us,” he said.
“It would be good if those who are now speaking in the name of the wise people of Iran… would remember this,” Prikhodko said.
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Conor Humphries)