Iran welcomes US-Russia deal on Syrian ceasefire

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry voiced support for a plan reached by Russia and the US to bring about a ceasefire in Syria, but underscored that the pause in the fighting, scheduled to take effect on Monday evening, should not give the terrorist groups the opportunity to replenish forces.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always welcomed the establishment of ceasefire in Syria and easier access to the humanitarian aids for the whole people of the country (Syria),” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Sunday.

His comments came after the US and Russia announced a plan to bring about a ceasefire in Syria.

The Iranian spokesman, however, underlined that the ceasefire does not apply to the terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIL), al-Nusra Front or other newly-born offshoots, calling on the international community to keep battling against the Takfiri extremists seriously, without any consideration and incessantly.

Given the experience of the situation over the past months, the ceasefire needs to be sustainable and guaranteed, Qassemi added, stressing that it should not enable the terrorist groups to get fresh support or deploy fighters and weapons.

He explained that a lasting ceasefire will require a comprehensive mechanism to monitor the situation and control the borders in order to prevent the inflow of new fighters, arms or financial sources into Syria.

Qassemi further emphasized that humanitarian aids must be available to all areas in Syria during the ceasefire, particularly to people in the terrorist-held areas, who have been besieged for years in critical conditions.

Back in February, a cessation of hostilities in Syria negotiated between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fell apart within weeks.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

By Tasnim News Agency