Khamenei believes that the alliance would have unleashed a war with Russia if it had not launched a military operation in Ukraine. The Iranian Foreign Ministry previously stated that the hostilities on Ukrainian territory were caused by “NATO provocations”

Ali Khamenei (left) and Vladimir Putin

NATO started a war with Russia under the pretext of Crimea, but the Russian alliance military operation in Ukraine, believes Iran's spiritual leader Ali Khamenei.

In his opinion, the West does not want to see Russia strong, and the North Atlantic Alliance— this is a dangerous organization. “If you didn’t oppose NATO in Ukraine, then the alliance itself would start a war under the pretext of Crimea,” — he said (quoted by Irna) at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Khamenei believes that “today America and the West are weaker than before” and “despite efforts and huge amounts of money” their policies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine are less successful than they used to be. He said that Moscow and Tehran need to develop economic cooperation that meets the interests of both countries, “especially in the face of Western sanctions,” Mehr reports.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said in February that the fighting in Ukraine was caused by “NATO provocations” and called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Later, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed his readiness to assist in the settlement.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed the opinion that Ukraine's entry into NATO will create a threat of a military conflict between Russia and the alliance over Crimea. In February, even before the start of hostilities in Ukraine, Putin said that if Kyiv joined the alliance, it would decide to return the peninsula by military means, “which means there will be a military confrontation between Russia and NATO.”

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev , for its part, believes that due to “unresolved territorial disputes” between Moscow and Kyiv, including the ownership of Crimea, Ukraine's accession to NATO could lead to the Third World War and “total catastrophe”.

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