Iran used the 3+3 meeting in Tehran on October 23 to urge Russia to thwart a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which it argues favours Israel.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian appealed to the Russian delegation on October 23, following the 3+3 format meeting in Tehran, attended by the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, but not Georgia, which snubbed the meeting.
Abdollahian remarked, “Today, Mr [Sergei] Lavrov, who heads the foreign ministry of the country with a veto right at the UN, and I held very serious negotiations on this matter [regarding the resolution at the UN, which contradicts the interests of Palestine]. We are also consulting with China on this matter. All our efforts are aimed at ensuring that the UN does not adopt a resolution contrary to the interests of the Palestinian people,” Fars News Agency reported.
Earlier in the day, Lavrov affirmed Russia’s willingness to assist in resolving the Middle East conflict, but highlighted Russia's distant relations with Israel and Palestine.
The Russian foreign minister also reiterated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s commitment to Israel's security, given the 1.5–2mn Russian citizens residing there.
During the Tehran meeting, the 3+3 format participants deliberated on the Gaza Strip situation, emphasising the need for a ceasefire, addressing humanitarian concerns, and foreign troops' withdrawal from the enclave.
Previously, on October 21, Dmitry Polyansky, the first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN, mentioned that Moscow planned to request a new UNSC meeting to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict resolution.
On 16 October, Russia proposed a humanitarian resolution to the UNSC concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, seeking an immediate truce in the Middle East, humanitarian aid delivery, and safe civilian evacuation from conflict zones.
The draft condemned civilian violence, acts of terrorism, and urged the conflicting parties to release hostages. However, this resolution failed to secure the necessary nine votes, with only Russia, China, the UAE, Gabon, and Mozambique in favour.
Following this, Vasily Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, critiqued the UNSC, accusing it of yielding to the whims of a Western bloc of delegations, and termed the UNSC’s rejection of Russia's resolution as a wasted effort.
The latest Middle East crisis was sparked off on October 7 when Palestinian militant group Hamas launched rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip onto Israeli territory and infiltrated border areas in Israel’s south, killing 1,400 people, according to Israeli authorities. Israel retaliated with strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip which have killed more than 5,000 people, according to estimates from Hamas, which controls Gaza.
The Palestinians are attempting to revert to the pre-1967 Six-Day War borders between Israel and Palestine. They aim to establish a sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, designating East Jerusalem as their capital, a proposition Israel rejects. Israel, meanwhile has been increasingly encroaching on the West Bank with settlements, making any form of finalised solution between the two sides virtually impossible.
Iran gives Azerbaijan warning about Israel
Following the ministerial meetings, the foreign minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan met with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, with a strongly worded warning to Baku that it shouldn't rely on Israel.
The Iranian president said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the significant and powerful countries in the region, emphasises respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, advocating for addressing issues through mutual understanding and cooperation among countries.”
Raisi, in a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Bayramov, said that regional problems cannot be solved with the intervention of foreign forces [in a veiled reference to Israel, which Azerbaijan works with increasingly].
Raisi noted that he had previously told “Mr Ilham” (referring to Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan) that the “Zionist regime” will not be a friend to Azerbaijan or any Muslim country.
"The current situation in Gaza is a tableau for all the nations in the region to see that Western countries, led by the United States, by fully supporting the crimes of the Zionists, are not friends or well-wishers of the regional countries but are merely pursuing their racist interests in the region."