Iranian Spokesman Calls Renaming of Terror Group ‘Playing with Words’

Bahram Ghasemi

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed a recent move by the al-Nusra Front terrorist group, which is fighting the Syrian government, to change its name to Jabhat Fath al-Sham (the Conquest of Syria Front) as “playing with words”.

“The objective behind the game is to remove the group from terrorism list, but the ugly image of extremism and terrorism cannot be whitewashed through such moves,” Qassemi said Thursday night.

“Such measures are a sign of the political bankruptcy of the extremists’ regional supporters headed by Saudi Arabia as the father and principal supporter of al-Qaeda, Taliban, Daesh (ISIL or ISIS), al-Nusra Front and many other terrorist groups, particularly in Syria,” he stressed.

The Iranian spokesman also called on the international community to pay attention to the root causes of terrorism and its outcomes, and to pressure the founders and supporters of terrorist groups into uprooting the inauspicious phenomenon.

Earlier on Thursday, al-Nusra Front announced its break from the parent terror organization, al-Qaeda, in an apparent bid to gain more support from foreign powers.

The Takfiri terrorist group was formed months after the outset of the Syrian crisis in 2011. The group first enjoyed generous support from Daesh extremists, but broke from them in 2013 and paid allegiance to al-Qaeda terror network, which on Thursday endorsed the move as a necessary gambit to protect the group.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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