Extremism to go after US Afghan exit, says Iranian expert

Islamabad, Sept 16, IRNA- An Iranian scholar and foreign policy expert, Dr Sadollah Zarei has stated that religious extremism would ease off in the region after the planned US exit from Afghanistan.

“There would be peace in the region as the forces breeding extremism would subside following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan”, he stated this in an interview with daily The Nation.

When asked how the US exit from the neighbouring country would impact the region, the professor at Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, Dr Zarei said that the expected development would also have positive effects on countries like Russia, China and India besides Pakistan and Iran.

He said that US would have to quit Afghanistan and even it would not be able to maintain some of its airbases and cantonments there.

He was of the view that Iran and Pakistan could exert pressure on the US to leave Afghanistan at the earliest. “It is encouraging to see that the stance of Pakistan and Iran regarding early withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan is the same”, he remarked.

Dr Sadollah who also heads Future-makers Strategic Study Centre in Tehran said that the two countries could work together to end extremism to lay the foundation of durable peace in the region, urging that Pakistan and Iran should make their own decisions.

He also said Pakistan Army should come forward to stop drone attacks.

To a question on Syrian crisis, Dr Sadollah said that in the new world order, the US had ceased to exist as the world superpower, and its latest defeat on the diplomatic front over launching a military attack on Syria was a manifestation of America’s eroding influence in the world.

“The US is facing isolation at the world level as neither of the countries supported its stance on Syria.”

He said all major powers including its most trusted ally UK had refused to support US stance.

“Actually, the US wanted to express its anger by a low intensity attack, but later on it realised that the outcome would not be worthwhile. It was also established later that US wanted to attack Syria for personal vendetta and the world powers refused to oblige the US”, Dr Sadollah explained, as he termed it a biggest defeat of the US vis-a-vis the rest of the world nations.

He disagreed with the perception that there was a monarchic system in place in Syria. “Asad’s family has been in power for the last over 40 years but the country has a political system and a Constitution.

There is no dictator in Syria. Also, a Constitutional government is in place there”, he remarked, adding, that Syria had never supported imperialism.

He said it would be better for Pakistan to adopt a tough policy on religious extremists.

On Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, he said that it was vital for both the countries and also for India.

He welcomed Pakistan Government’s decision to sign the agreement despite foreign pressure.



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