European ISIL elements threaten international security, Iran says


TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan warned on Thursday that the European members of ISIL are a threat against international security.

Dehqan made the remarks during a meeting with Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov on the sidelines of a conference on international security in Moscow.

According to data provided by the Soufan Group, between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIL and other violent extremist groups in the region. There are approximately 6,000 people from Europe - with the most fighters leaving France, Germany and the UK, reported on its website on March 24.

The Iranian defense chief called for coordinated campaign against terrorists.

“Those who commit crime and murder under the name of Islam have nothing to do with Islam and we all should counter this evil movement through unity, convergence and organized cooperation,” Dehqan noted.

Dehqan also said that the U.S. has adopted strategy of waging proxy wars to suppress new and big powers.

He urged the countries in the region and also “independent states” to counter the U.S. infiltration through “unity and comprehensive cooperation”.

For his part, the Belarusian defense minister praised Iran’s efforts in countering terrorism.

Ravkov said that Belarus attaches great importance to expansion of ties with Iran and called for an increased cooperation in defense area.

In a separate meeting on Thursday with Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, the acting defense minister of Afghanistan, Dehqan said that deepening Iran-Afghanistan ties is important to counter elements causing regional insecurity.

He also highlighted the importance of establishing long lasting security and stability in Afghanistan.

Masoom Stanekzai said that the two countries can play an important part in resolving crises such as drug trafficking and terrorism.