Change of al-Nusra name is just ‘word play’: Iran


HRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Thursday that changing the name of Al-Nusra Front to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham is just a “word play”.

“This play is targeted at removing this group from the list of terrorism while the ugly face of extremism and terrorism cannot be purified by such actions,” he said.

The terrorist nature of the group will not be changed by such actions, Qassemi asserted.

He said that such actions indicates failure of the policy adopted by supporters of extremism in the Middle East region with Saudi Arabia at the top.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official called Saudi Arabia “father and main supporter” of al-Qaeda, Taliban, Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist groups, especially those active in Syria.

Qassemi called on the international community to pay attention to the roots of terrorism and exert pressure against supporters of terrorists.

The al-Nusra Front announced on Thursday that the group has ended its affiliation to al-Qaeda and would re-form under the new name of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

The leader of the al-Nusra Front, Mohamad al-Golani, announced that the group will have “no ties with any foreign party”.

According to Reuters, earlier on Thursday, bin Laden’s successor as Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, gave the Nusra Front his blessing to break away.