Croatia Hails Iran's Role in Restoring Stability to Mideast

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has hailed Iran's positive and constructive role in restoring stability to the Middle East, calling for the reinforcement of bilateral ties.

In a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Zagreb on Thursday, Plenkovic described the Islamic Republic as an influential country. "Iran is making efforts in line with restoring regional stability," he said.

The Croatian premier also stressed that cooperation with Iran, especially in the economic and trade sectors, should be continued and expanded.

Zakharova: US Presence near Al-Tanf Violates Syria’s Sovereignty

MOSCOW- The United States’ illegal presence in the Al-Tanf area is a blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"The US military’s illegal presence near Al-Tanf and its blocking of the important transport link between Damascus and Baghdad is a blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty," she said, according to Itar Tass.

The Russian diplomat pointed to "the hysteria over Damascus and Moscow’s alleged unwillingness to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401, which has been fueled by the foreign sponsors of radical extremists and biased media." "I would like to reiterate that Russia voted in favor of the resolution and right after its approval took practical steps to implement its major provisions," Zakharova noted.

US Moving Daesh to Afghanistan, Syria to Ignite War among Muslims, Says Boroujerdi

The US has started another plot to move the leaders of Daesh to Afghanistan and Syria to ignite wars among Muslims and instability in the region to create a margin of safety for the Zionist regime, said the chairman of the Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Friday.

'Creating of Daesh and disintegrating Iraq and Syria were devised by the US and its allies in the region that were severely defeated,' Alaeddin Boroujerdi told the media.

Russia Vows 'Instant' Response to Nuclear Attack on Itself, Allies

President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia would regard any use of nuclear weapons against its allies as a "nuclear attack" on itself and give an "instant" response.

Delivering his annual state of the nation speech in Moscow on Thursday, Putin expressed concerns about the new US nuclear posture, which has lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.

The new American policy allows the use of nuclear weapons "in response to a conventional attack or even a cyber threat," the Russian president said, adding, "Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in response to a nuclear attack or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against her or her allies, or a conventional attack against us that threatens the very existence of the state," Press TV reported.

Russia: Foreign Interference in Syria Hinders Return of Stability and Security

MOSCOW- Assistant to Russia’s Security Council Secretary Alexander Venediktov stressed that the foreign interference in Syria hinders the return of stability and security to it.

Venediktov said in a statement to Sputnik Agency on Thursday that the return of stability and security to Syria is hindered by the continued foreign interference in the Syrian crisis, indicating that there are 20 US military bases to the northeast of Syria, according to SANA.

Terrorists Force Prisoners to Fortify Positions in East Ghouta : Russian MoD

MOSCOW- Terrorist groups have opened fire on civilians impeding their evacuation along the humanitarian corridor in Eastern Ghouta and forced prisoners to fortify their positions there, Maj Gen Yuri Yevtushenko, the chief of the Russian center for reconciliation in Syria, said on Wednesday, Itar Tass reported.

The "ceasefire" monitoring proves that armed groups keep fighting in the provinces of Aleppo, Lattakia and Daraa. The extremely tense situation in Eastern Ghouta is of particular concern. In that suburb of Damascus a humanitarian mission is underway to enable safe exits for civilians and evacuations for the sick and wounded.

Lavrov Accuses US of Psyching Up EU Armies for Use of Nukes against Russia

GENEVA - US military specialists are making European countries’ armed forces ready for using tactical nuclear weapons against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the disarmament conference on Wednesday.

"Nuclear disarmament is hindered by the remaining presence of US non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe and the accompanying destabilizing practice of ‘joint nuclear missions’. Within the framework of these missions NATO’s non-nuclear members in crude violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty participate in planning the use of US non-strategic nuclear weapons and are involved in mastering the corresponding skills. It should be clear to one and all that the US military thereby prepares the European countries for using tactical nuclear weapons against Russia," Lavrov said.

Putin: Shelling of Damascus from E. Ghouta Terrorists ‘Won’t Be Tolerated Forever’

Moscow is not going to keep tolerating the daily shelling of Damascus by eastern Ghouta terrorists that recently hit the Russian embassy in Syria, President Vladimir Putin said after meeting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The current hotspot of the Syrian crisis – Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus – is being used by numerous terrorist groups as a base, from which they launch attacks on the capital and other areas in the country, Putin said, responding to a Russian media journalist’s question on the situation there. Damascus is being shelled up to 80 times a day from the Ghouta area.