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Iran Insists on Continuation of Comprehensive Ceasefire in Syria

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says a military solution to the conflict in Syria is nothing but an “illusion.”

"We are going to continue to insist on the need for a comprehensive ceasefire, of course excluding terrorist groups,” Zarif said.

He stressed that a political solution is the only way to solve the crisis in Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

“Unfortunately there seems to be a persistence by some that they want to pursue a military solution, that illusion has to come to an end and they should look for a political solution," the Iranian foreign minister said.

Iranian Foreign Minister also said the political process to resolve the crisis in Syria is exclusively Syrian, stressing that no one can dictate terms to the Arab nation.

Zarif said all participants at the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) must realize that the Syrians have the final say on the diplomatic process in the crisis-hit country.

"It’s a Syrian-owned, Syrian-led process. People here are supposed to help…not to dictate to the Syrian people and this is what we have been pointing out time and again,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

He added that the ISSG meeting in Vienna ended without "any groundbreaking" news in the final statement of the talks.

He, however, emphasized that what is important is that there is “general consensus that we need to expand the cessation of hostilities to include all of Syria.”

Zarif stressed the importance of addressing the issue of the “mixture of various groups and al-Nusra” terrorists in Syria.

He said they are “collaborating with each other and cooperating and …receiving a lot of assistance and weaponry from the outside,” and added that this issue was included in the final communiqué of the ISSG.

The Iranian minister added that participants at the ISSG meeting agreed to continue to work and to support the political process and said, “Obviously, countries around that table have divergent views and disagreements on a whole range of issues and I believe it’s important to understand that.”

Despite a cessation of hostilities in some areas in Syria, there were loopholes in that agreement from the beginning, he said.

“The most important loopholes were the fact that al Nusra, which is a major terrorist organization operating in many areas that are now undergoing serious humanitarian catastrophe, continues to be collaborating with various groups that have been supported by governments in the region and outside the region and there is a need to once and for all deal with that," Zarif pointed out.

In its final statement, the ISSG called on the international community to prevent any material or financial support from reaching Daesh and Nusra Front and dissuade any party to the truce from cooperating with the terrorists.

“The ISSG supports efforts by the co-chairs of the Ceasefire Task Force … to consider ways to deal decisively with the threat posed by Daesh and the Nusra Front to Syria and international security,” the statement read.

*Photo Credit: Press TV

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