The Iran Project

ME first victims of Syria crisis if unresolved: Iran FM

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that Middle Eastern countries will be the “first victims” of extremism in Syria if the “tragedy” is not resolved through democratic means.

“Extremism in Syria will harm all of us. Extremism in Syria cannot be contained to Syria. Our friends in the region will be the first targets and victims of extremism as our friends in Pakistan were the first victims of Taliban extremism,” Zarif said in a recent televised interview with Al Jazeera news network.

“We all should work to end [the] violence, to bring about a political resolution to this tragedy that is a shame for both Sunnis and Shias. It is a shame for Islamic world. It is a shame for our region,” he said.

“Trying to seek a military solution, either from within or trying to invite outsiders to intervene militarily in Syria will not resolve the problem. In fact there is no military solution to the tragedy in Syria,” the Iranian foreign minister pointed out.

Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced due to the violence.

Zarif argued that the future of Syria can only be decided by the “Syrians and the Syrians alone,” adding, “What all of us can do, and I invite all our friends to do the same, is to help facilitate the dialogue among Syrians with a view to finding a political solution and with a view to ending the violence in Syria.”

The Iranian foreign minister warned the parties involved in the Syrian crisis against repeating the “past mistakes” and said, “We all need foresight. We all need to have a forward-looking, future-oriented outlook. Let the people decide their future. The ultimate political solution is through the ballot box for the Syrian people to decide under appropriate circumstances.”

In response to a question about the objection of the Syrian opposition to Iran’s participation at the Geneva II Syria peace conference, Zarif said, “If they invite us we will be happy to attend. If they don’t want to invite us we will not beg for an invitation card. If they do not invite Iran, they will not invite Iran to their own detriment. Iran is there to contribute to a peaceful resolution of this crisis.”

The Geneva II conference, which will be a follow-up to an earlier one held in June 2012, had been proposed by Moscow and Washington on May 7, but was delayed for several months.

On November 25, however, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the long-delayed event will be held on January 22, 2014.

On December 5, Ban also stressed the necessity of inviting Iran to the Geneva II conference as Tehran “can play an important role.”

By Press TV


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