President Rouhani: Big powers unable to ignore Iran’s regional power

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the world powers have come to realize that the regional problems cannot be settled without Tehran’s assistance.

“We have had an influential role in preventing a new war in the region and against Syria, and Iran along with Russia and many other regional states including Lebanon and Iraq, played an effective role to prevent this new war,” President Rouhani said, addressing university students on the occasion of ‘The Students Day’ in Iran on Saturday.

“In today’s world, the big countries have no way out, but to consider the Iranian nation’s power for resolving the regional issues,” he added.

In relevant remarks in June, former Secretary-General of the NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer underlined Iran’s important regional role, and stressed that Tehran’s assistance is needed for the establishment of stability in the region.

Scheffer stressed that West needs Iran for stability in Afghanistan and finding a political solution in Syria dispute.

The Dutch politician underlined that the West should not make the mistake of ignoring one of the most important countries in regional issues.

He concluded that if the West wants the Geneva II conference to be seriously held and reach a settlement on the Syrian crisis, Iran should participate in the meeting.

The UN announced in November that the Syrian government and opposition negotiators would meet for the first time since start of the country’s 32 month-old crisis in Geneva on 22 January. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said in announcing the landmark conference that it would be “a mission of hope”.

After the UN announced the date for the gathering, Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran would be in Geneva on January 22, unless the US-led West tries to set a precondition for Tehran.

“If Iran is invited to attend the Geneva II conference, we will take part in the conference without any precondition,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters.

After the UN declared the date for the high-profile gathering, its envoy Lakhdar Brahimi underlined Tehran’s important role in settling the Syrian crisis, and said that the Geneva II conference would start “without any preconditions”.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

Last November, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid November with the motto of ‘No to Violence, Yes to Democracy”.

The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and state officials.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against the Syrian police, border guards, statesmen, army and civilians being reported across the country.

Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

By Fars News Agency


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