Russia & Former Soviet Union

Russia’s top spy tells US and UK to ‘go to hell’

Commenting on the two nations’ policies toward Iran, Sergey Naryshkin advised Washington and London to mind their own business

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin. ©  Sputnik/Kirill Kallinikov

The and should leave Iran alone, the head of ’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, has said. The official also suggested that the two nations are dismayed by the success of ’s efforts to reconcile Iran and .  

Speaking on Wednesday at the International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues, Naryshkin said he would advise the “Anglo-Saxons to take care of their own internal civil conflicts. Or better yet, go to their old pal – the devil.” 

According to the official, Washington and London view the recent normalization of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a strictly negative light. He claimed that the two allies are wary that Beijing’s diplomatic activities in the region could undermine their long-term strategy to weaken the Islamic Republic.  

Naryshkin went on to allege that American and British government agencies have been tasked with derailing China’s diplomatic efforts and discrediting its role as a mediator. He cited narratives to this effect in the media, adding, however, that the US and UK are unlikely to succeed with their supposed smear campaign “in the new geopolitical reality.” 

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Russia’s top spy argued that Western powers could play a role in ensuring global security and prosperity, but only as one of numerous centers of a multipolar world. However, the “insane vanity” of these nations precludes them from acting on an equal footing with other players, Naryshkin claimed.  

Quoting from the Bible, the Russian official added that “their end will correspond to their deeds,” and predicted that America and Britain’s fate “will be sad.” 

Several Iranian media outlets reported on Tuesday that Tehran had appointed a new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. 

The two nations agreed in March to restore diplomatic ties, having severed them in 2016. Soon thereafter they announced plans to reopen their respective embassies. 

The talks between Riyadh and Tehran were described as a major diplomatic win for China, with President Xi Jinping personally persuading the two nations to patch things up, China’s People’s Daily newspaper reported in late April.  

The negotiations were also marked by the conspicuous absence of the US.

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