Zarif: No military solution to Syrian crisis

IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that there is no military solution to Syrian crisis.

Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Zarif said, ‘Syrian crisis has no military solution; rather, we should reach a solution based on which Syrian people can hold talks with each other.’

He said over the past three and half years, we have repeatedly emphasized that we should not predict the outcome of the talks and judge on that basis.’

He added, ‘This is our strategy of talks in the Astana session in Kazakhstan and Russia, Iran and Turkey are striving within the same framework; We hope that all the parties to the ceasefire in Syria will come for talks in Astana and end violence in the country.’

The minister also referred to the UN efforts to solve Syria crisis and said, ‘The Astana session is not in contradiction with or a substitute for efforts of other international institutions aiming to solve the Syrian crisis. All parties should try to prepare the ground for a successful future for Syria.’
Asked to comment on the US President-elect Donald Trump and his government’s approach towards Iran, Zarif said, ‘We should wait and see, then judge.’

‘The government of Mr. (Barack) Obama did not act sincerely and due to the same reason, Iranian people’s view on the US policies on Iran is not positive.’

To a question on change in the world international equations, Zarif said, ‘Other governments and alliance of certain groups of countries do not run international affairs. There will be no security in a country if no security exists in another country.’

He added, ‘Terrorism, extremism and violence threaten all of us and we should confront it collectively.’

‘When trying to solve Syrian crisis, Iran and Russia announced explicitly that there is no limit for terrorism.’

On future of Tehran-Riyadh ties, Zarif said, ‘I do no consider any reason for Iran and Saudi Arabia to have hostile relations. We can cooperate in various international fields, including settling crises in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.’

As for cooperation between the two countries to tackle Lebanese presidential crisis, he said in that connection, the two countries recorded good performance through cooperation.

While referring to martyrdom of hundreds of Iranian pilgrims in last year’s Hajj and baseless claims of Saudi foreign minister that Tehran supported terrorism, Zarif said Saudi Arabia should understand realities of the region and it should know that provoking regional differences will make conditions more complicated.

As for future presidential elections in Iran, Zarif said people have significant role in deciding political fate of the country. ‘What’s of importance is Iranian people will decide their country’s fate. However, foreign policy of Iran, irrespective of the result of elections internationally, will continue and persist. ‘Due to its geopolitical standing in the region, Iran wants stability and peace in the region and this is a characteristic of our foreign policy which will continue.’

While noting that international sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran were futile, he said Iran managed to stand the sanctions with the iron will of its people.