Iran Denies Report of US Contact on Syria


Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi quashed reports that Tehran and Washington have had high-profile diplomatic contacts about the recent ceasefire in Syria.

The denial came after media stories about coordination between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry on a ceasefire in Syria that took effect on Monday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America have not basically had any contact, consultation or talks regarding the regional issues,” the spokesman said on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia came into effect in Syria.

The agreement’s initial aims include allowing humanitarian access and joint US-Russian targeting of extremist groups, which are not covered by the agreement.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN officials estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has furthermore displaced over half of Syria’s pre-war population of about 23 million.