Minimizing human damage in Idlib Iran’s priority

IRNA – Iran’s priority is to minimize and to politically solve the crisis in Idlib, a former Iranian ambassador to Syria told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

‘Tehran Trilateral Summit was a successful step in managing the developments in Syria,’ said Mohammad-Reza Raoof-Sheybani.

Tehran Trilateral Summit took place in Tehran on Friday in the presence of the Iranian, Turkish, and Russian presidents, respectively Hassan Rouhani, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Vladimir Putin.

Raoof-Sheybani said that the summit was a response to the US demand that Iran should leave Syria.

‘The presence of the Turkish and Russian [presidents in Tehran and prior to that the visit made by the Iranian political authorities to Syria and the Syrians’ warm welcome showed that Iran cannot be removed from Syrian equations,’ said Raoof-Sheybani.

Saying that regarding the Syrian developments, the US is strategically confused, Raoof-Sheybani said, ‘The US has been aggressive since the beginning of the crisis; they think they can use the golden opportunity to replace the Syrian government with their allies and align their policies with the US.’

Raoof-Sheybani also said that the changes in the US policy towards Syria are actually provoked by the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia, and even US President Donald Trump’s speeches on Iran and Syria are ‘an amalgamation of US illusions, Israeli policies and Saudi suggestions.’

He said that Trump even made some missile attacks to say that what he does was not done during Obama’s tenure.

Regarding Astana talks, he said, ‘The first principle that brought the three countries together was the fighting with terrorism that threatened the region and the world.’

‘The other principle was the necessity to solve the problems politically and avoid any military solutions.’

He added that one of the reasons of the succes of Astana talks was due to influential role played by Iran, Russia and Turkey.

Russia is a UNSC council member, with veto right; Turkey has the leverage among the opposition groups in Syria, and Iran has close ties with the Syrian legal govrrnment and parts of the Syrian society, he said.

Regarding Idlib, he said that although it is a little different from other de-escalation zones in Syria, it doesn’t mean that Idlib will be Gordian knot in Syrian crisis.

‘There are some terrorist groups in Idlib that are by the world community known as potentially and actively dangerous to the regional and international security and stability.’

‘The US’ occupation of some parts of Syria is a problem for the country’s people.’

He said that the Russians claimed that 90% of Syria has been freed, but the fact is that 23 or 24 percent of the Syrian land in east of Euphrates is occupied by the US.’

Regarding President Rouhani’s ‘smart’ speech in Tehran Summit, he said Rouhani included both Russia and Turkey’s opinions in his conclusion.

Sheybani also said that as solving the crisis in Syria could not be dealt with single-handedly, reconstruction of Syria also needs ‘collective participation’.

‘Taking the economic and technical potentials, Iran will be one of the most effective actors in reconstruction of Syria.’