Regional efforts key to anti-ISIL campaign: Iran diplomat

Iran’s ambassador to Turkey has emphasized the importance of cooperation among Middle Eastern countries to counter the threats posed by Takfiri ISIL terrorists operating in the strategic region.

“The most effective and practical way to counter the ISIL terrorist group is cooperation among Iran, Turkey and some other regional countries,” Alireza Bigdeli said on Thursday.

Bigdeli further warned against unilateral measures in the fight against ISIL extremists, saying a lack of unity among Middle Eastern states in their anti-terror efforts would pave the way for enemies to pursue their own objectives in the region.

Referring to Turkey’s possible military operations against ISIL militants in Syria, the Iranian diplomat said any such move should be coordinated with the Damascus government and carried out with the cooperation of other regional states.

Iran and Turkey share common views on the issue of terrorism, said the Iranian official, adding that the latest developments in the region could lead to closer Tehran-Ankara cooperation.

Bigdeli’s comments came on the same day as the Turkish parliament passed a controversial motion authorizing Ankara to carry out military operations against ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced methods to fight terrorism in Iraq and Syria, expressing concern over the Turkish parliament’s decision.

“The countries in the region should act responsibly with regard to the current situation and not contribute to the exacerbation of the situation in the region,” Zarif said.

Since September 22, the US and its allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

Turkey, a NATO member, has been under pressure by Western countries to cooperate with them in their operations against ISIL.

By Press TV


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