Supreme Leader: West plans for NATO expansion main issue in Ukraine crisis

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that the main problem in the Ukraine crisis is the West's plan for NATO expansion.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei received the visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev here on Sunday.

During this meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the main problem in the Ukraine crisis is the Western plan for NATO expansion.

"The main problem with Ukraine is that Westerners are trying to expand NATO and that they will not hesitate to expand their influence wherever they can," Iran's Supreme Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei underscored that the developments should be carefully monitored and looked into due to the fact that the Americans and Westerners are always trying to expand their influence in different regions, no matter whether it is the eastern Asia or western Asia, and to target the independence and sovereignty of other countries.

The Supreme Leader, meantime, referred to the age-old deep historical and cultural ties between Iran and Kazakhstan, and called for the expansion of cooperation different areas, especially in the format of regional cooperation.

Ayatollah Khamenei further stated that Farabi (Alpharabius), a Muslim philosopher and scholar with Kazakhstani origins whose works have been researched and studied in Iran for one thousand years, can be considered a basis for cultural cooperation and the founding of a mutual scholarly committee between Iran and Kazakhstan.

President Tokayev, for his part, said that he had held very good negotiations with President Raisi, and the documents signed by the two sides could lay the ground for further expansion of relations between the two countries.

The Kazakh president described the historical and cultural similarities between Iran and Kazakhstan as deep-rooted and welcomed the Leader's proposal to form a scientific committee on Farabi, the great Islamic philosopher who Ayatollah Khamenei said had origins in Kazakhstan.

He also expressed his views on regional issues such as the situation in Ukraine and explained his country's conditions after the failed coup attempt in January last year.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was also attending the Supreme Leader's meeting with the Kazakhstan delegation.

The visiting Kazakh president (Kassym-Jomart Tokayev) and his accompanying delegation held a meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi earlier on Sunday before attending a joint press conference.

Prior to this meeting, the Kazakh president met his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi at Saadabad cultural complex in northern Tehran.

In the presence of the two presidents, nine agreements on the expansion of cooperation in various fields were signed.

The Kazakh president, heading a high-ranking delegation, is visiting Iran at the official invitation of his Iranian counterpart following his presence at the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia.

News Code 193949

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