Iran expects coop. in fight against terrorism


TEHRAN, Sep. 06 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran expects neighboring countries to cooperate with the Islamic Republic in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Zarif made the remarks in an interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network published on Tuesday.

Asked whether the nuclear deal would preserve without the US, Iran’s top diplomat said “it is not impossible, but obviously this is not our preference. We want to continue our commitment to the deal based on the previous agreements, but all options are on the table and they’re not limited to any terms.”

Zarif went on to add, “at the moment, despite the fact the US has not been completely committed to the letter and spirit of the nuclear deal, we will continue our measures under the deal due to our interest in having economic cooperation with the rest of the world.”

Elsewhere, Zarif discussed regional developments, saying Iran expects neighboring countries such as Turkey to cooperate with the Islamic Republic in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

He also touched upon the decision of Iraqi Kurdistan Region for holding an independence referendum, saying the plan is a “great peril” to the Kurds.
Asked about Iran’s reaction in the face of Kurdistan Region’s insistence on separation from Iraq, Zarif said “I think the best approach is direct dialogs between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region’s government. We will encourage talks, as I believe the best solution to this issue is strengthening cooperation and coexistence.”

He once again voiced his objection to the settlement of the Syrian crisis through merely military approaches, saying, “The people and resistance are achieving victory in Syria and we will grow farther from a military solution with the defeat of ISIL.”

Zarif also reiterated that the fate of the Syrians is in their own hands. “We should not dictate to the Syrian people what they should do. We have resisted against extremism and we must facilitate from now on the path of dialogue among different popular groups in Syria,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

Since the outset of the Syrian crisis, Iran has sought to help the Arab country’s people fight against extremism through political channels, he said.

Zarif pointed to a new round of Syria peace talks in the Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana and described the initiative as the “most successful diplomatic move” adopted after the beginning of the Syrian crisis.

The next round of negotiations between representatives from the Syrian government and foreign-sponsored armed opposition besides delegates from Iran, Russia, and Turkey as mediators is scheduled to be held on September 14-15 in Astana.

Astana has hosted five rounds of peace talks for Syria since January. The negotiations are aimed at bringing an end to the foreign-backed militancy in the violence-battered Arab country, which began in March 2011.