His statements came a few hours after Moscow talks at which Russian diplomats tried to persuade the leaders of the main Syrian opposition group known as the Syrian National Council to renounce confrontation with the Assad regime and comply with the decisions taken at the Geneva conference on Syria to enter a dialogue aimed at putting together a cross-spectrum transitional government. He said he suspects the opposition is under Western pressure to escalate its conflict with the Syrian government.
Mr Pushkov also gave a rebuff to the hawkish pronouncements made by Hillary Clinton at the Paris conference of the "Friends of Syria:"
"Mrs Clinton accused Russia of hampering the international efforts to bring about a settlement in Syria and said our country would have to pay for this. This is incomprehensible. In an interview with British reporters a few days ago, I said the West should have thanked God for the existence of Russia and the role it plays in the international diplomacy to resolve the Syrian conflict. In fact, the West does not have a clear position on Syria. Its Syria policy boils down to the demand that Assad must go. Well, and what next after Assad goes? Heaping blame Russia is a way of concealing helplessness over everything that concerns Syria. After Libya, NATO possesses neither the resources nor the guts for waging another war in the Arab world. Nor is it willing to do anything politically. Hence its aggressive rhetoric that Russia is to blame for all the wrongs with Syria."
Another American target in the Greater Middle East area is Iran.
Mr Pushkov again:
"An American intelligence report published in 2003 said Iran had rolled up its nuclear weapons programme. This conclusion has never been put in doubt by American intelligence services. This leads me to believe that it’s not nukes in Iranian hands that stirs American hostility towards Teheran. It is something else. I suspect it is a design to bring about regime change. First in Damascus, and then in Teheran."
Demonizing Iran is unfair, because the Iranians are not involved in wars, and their dislike of Israel is limited to rhetoric. Moreover, Iran – unlike Turkey, for instance – is not meddling in Syria. Turkey makes no secret of its support of the Syrian rebels. The Americans are in constant contact with the Syrian opposition and are trying to organize armed resistance to the Assad regime by recruiting fighters in refugee camps. Iran, on the contrary, is showing a very responsible attitude to the Syrian crisis, Mr Pushkov said.