'US, Israel main sponsors of terrorism in Mideast'

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel are the biggest supporters of terrorism in the Middle East region.


Speaking in a meeting with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa in Tehran on Tuesday, Hatami pointed to threadbare plots hatched by the United States and Israel, saying that they were the biggest source of support for terrorist groups wreaking havoc on a number of countries in the region.


Iran's defense minister said, “Unfortunately, some regional and extra-regional countries … have fallen into the trap of the US and the Zionist regime’s plots and after attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, creating Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and waging war on Yemen, are now trying to partition regional countries and stoke unrest,” adding that this situation was not befitting of the region and the Islamic world.


The Iranian minister said US-nurtured extremism and the fight against terrorism were used as pretexts by White House officials to dominate Muslim countries and their resources.


He added that Iran’s resistance against the cruel plans of the US and Israeli regime was the main reason behind mounting pressure on the Islamic Republic.


“The Islamic Republic of Iran will make use of its utmost capabilities and capacities to maintain regional security and territorial integrity of countries,” Hatami pointed out.


The defense minister reiterated that Iran’s foreign policy was to expand relations with neighboring countries, saying Tehran attached special significance to ties with Islamabad in view of the two sides’ long border and the existing religious, historical and cultural commonalities.


The Pakistani chief of army staff, for his part, stressed the importance of improving stability and security in the two countries’ border areas and boosting cooperation to counter common enemies.


Javed Bajwa added that the battle against terrorism and insecurity in border areas with Iran was important for Pakistan, expressing hope that the establishment of border stability would create security and help develop the two countries' economic and trade exchanges.


The Pakistani chief of army staff is in Tehran at the head of a delegation of high-ranking military officials. He held talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.

Bajwa's visit is focused on enhancing the level of defense and security interaction between the two countries and discussing other issues of mutual interest.