Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has condemned remarks by Iranian officials calling for the eradication of Israel.
In a conference organized by Valdai Club, a research institute sponsored by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said, "We have stated many times that we won't accept the statements that Israel, as a Zionist state, should be destroyed and wiped off the map. I believe this is an absolutely wrong way to advance one's own interests."
On February 14 during a ceremony in Tehran, the commander of Iran’s Quds force, General Qassem Soleimani remarked that Israel’s “eradication” would be the best revenge for the killing of Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah militant killed ten years ago in Damascus.
It was not the first time that Iranian officials have uttered such remarks. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. Three years ago, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel would not last for another 25 years.
But Lavrov added, "By the same token, we oppose attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran," he noted. "This is happening in Syria, Yemen and even the latest developments around the Palestinian issue, including Washington's announcement of its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, are largely motivated by this anti-Iranian stance,"
Both Lavrov and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Monday during the opening session of the conference devoted to Russia's role in the Middle East.
Answering a question from an Arab media reporter, and referring to Soleimani’s remark, Lavrov also said that he “does not accept calls for wiping a country off the map”.