Zarif: Baghdad would have fallen without Iran

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SHAFAQNA –  Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif has told a meeting with European Council on Foreign Relations Iran helped Iraq fight ISIL when they were close to capture Baghdad. In a joint session of Institute for the International and Political Studies and the European Council on Foreign Relations in Tehran, Zarif said that regional geopolitical rivalry had plunged the ME into subsequent crises; a rivalry, Zarif believed, “has aborted attempts to bring Syrian crisis and Iran’s nuclear negotiations stalemate to a safe ground which would contribute to regional stability.”

“Measures taken by the US and EU to stop Iran’s nuclear activity have had no results than progress in Iran’s program, and in current circumstances, they have reached conclusion that the issue should be immediately solved,” Zarif told the meeting, “however, those with vested interests in the issue would welcome the manufactured crisis to continue.”

Zarif believed that the crisis provided a cover for ‘some players in the region’ to justify their short-term strategies.

He also believed that the only possible solution to ‘the superficial stalemate’ was ‘a deal with the 5+1,” emphasizing that “depriving Iran of its nuclear rights could not establish a genuine solution, since the conditions have changed drastically compared to those 10 years ago, and we have achieved nuclear technology; our nuclear expertise would fit into no restricting framework.”

Iran’s FM also believed that the EU would assume more serious role in creating a balance in the negotiation, a role Zarif believed would work very much to improve not only Iran’s position but also that of EU internationally.

On Iraqi crisis, Zarif asserted that some questions as to how and when Iraqi crisis began and whom did support ISIL and what groups from Europe joined the ISIL should be addressed, without which “no permanent solutions would be imagined to the crisis.”

Zarif then pointed to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role in saving Baghdad. “If Iran had not provided its consultation, Baghdad would have fallen to ISIL. Iran has provided logistical and military advice to Iraqi forces to empower them against the ISIL,” he said.

“To solve the crisis fundamentally, Iraqi government and people’s demands should be heard; if foreign forces and neighbors deploy military force in Iraq, it would be a pretext for ISIL to accelerate the pace of its recruitment from candidates in the EU and North Africa, not mentioning Russian Chechnya, Pakistan and Central Asia,” Zarif told the meeting.

Zarif cited the paradoxes inherent in US-led coalition against the ISIL. “Ironically, countries joining the coalition would buy crude oil from the terrorist group; support them, and provide them with safe routes to use,” he added.

He believed that weakening Syrian government would be tantamount to bolstering ISIL positions, and that “this is another irony we see with the coalition in Syria.”

By Mehr News Agency

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