Turkey Should Stop Arming, Funding Terrorist Groups in Syria: Iran's Zarif

TEHRAN, (ST)- Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has stressed that eliminating Daesh and other terrorist groups needs international efforts, urging Ankara to stop arming and funding the terrorist groups operating in Syria and the region.

Interviewed by the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV Thursday evening, Zarif affirmed that "the presence of Turkish forces in Syria doesn't enhance stability in the region."

The Iranian top diplomat said that Iran, Russia and Syria share a common view on terrorism as terrorist organizations pose serious threat to the three countries and the entire world.

 The view points of the three countries on political solution to the crisis in Syria are also identical, said Zarif.

Regarding Astana talks on the Syrian settlement, Zarif said the participating parties didn't reach a perfect and complete ceasefire, but the situation is far better than before. He noted differences in views with Turkey, particularly regarding the situation in Syria.

We reached a common ground and we are committed to work with the participating parties as long as this would put an end to violence, and stops the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

Nuclear Deal Implementation 'Best Option'

On Tehran's nuclear capabilities, Zarif said that Iran has enhanced its peaceful nuclear program and that the US government will come to realize that the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal is the best option for all sides, highlighting the ineffectiveness of  the US-led sanctions against Tehran.

He denied contacts between him and the US State Department on the nuclear issue, pointing out that the agreement is a multi-party deal supported by the Security Council.

All, except the United States and "Israel",  think that the agreement is best guarantee for regional peace, security and stability, according to the Iranian official.

Concerning the Israeli threats to Iran, Zarif said since the historic nuclear agreement was signed in Vienna, Israel and Saudi Arabia have made every attempt to scuttle it. By doing so, Israel aimed at diverting the world's attention from its crimes against the Palestinians.

He stressed that Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons is the main threat to the world.

"The Zionist regime of Israel is the biggest nuclear threat both to the region and the world,” he said.

The Tel Aviv regime, which pursues a policy of so-called deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear bombs, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Zarif called on countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia not to seek getting its security from foreign sides, urging Saudi to cooperate with Iran as to guarantee peace in the region.

On the possibility of forming a military alliance between the Gulf states and "Israel" against Iran, Zarif said "it will be regrettable to see Islamic states joining efforts with some entities that promote hostilities among Islamic countries."

He added that Iran is ready to deal with its neighbors on the basis of mutual respect.

The Iranian diplomat expressed his country's readiness to provide support for the Palestinians as to achieve national unity and form a unified front to confront the Israeli attacks and restore the rights of the Palestinian people.

Hamda Mustafa

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