MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has partner-like relations with Iran and hopes for development of trade and economic ties, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
"We do not agree with this approach," Peskov said when asked whether the Kremlin agreed with the statement of US President Donald Trump, who called Iran the "number one terrorist state."
Late on Sunday, Trump said Iran was the "number one terrorist state" and the United States would work with Tehran from the position of sanctions.
His administration announced sanctions Friday against 25 individuals and entities based in Iran, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and China for allegedly supporting Tehran's ballistic missile program after its latest medium-range ballistic missile test on January 29.
"You know that the Russian Federation has partner-like and good relations with Iran. We are cooperating on a number of issues, we value our relations in the trade and economic sphere and look forward to their further development," he told reporters.
In his turn, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said The Wall Street Journal's report claiming the United States seeks to "drive a wedge" between Russia and Iran attempts to "poison" the nascent ties between Washington and Moscow.
"That is The Wall Street Journal, which tries to drive a wedge. It is absolutely not surprising that the WSJ and many others engage in nothing except seeking out causes for unfounded speculation, and attempt to poison the atmosphere in the relations," Ryabkov told reporters.
Breaking close ties between Russia and Iran reportedly seeks to reconcile two Trump’s strategies that are said to be contradictory: improving relations with Russia and challenging Iranian military presence in the Middle East.
Russia and Iran are engaged in close cooperation in various spheres from nuclear energy to settlement of the Syrian conflict.