Opposition groups must contribute to peace in Syria: Iran FM

Mohammad Javad Zarif

He said the opposition group in Syria should have no link with terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, Daesh, al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the activities of opposition forces in Syria must comply with international rules and regulations, stressing that they should also contribute to the promotion of peace in the crisis-hit country.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Friday, Zarif added that they discussed the latest developments in Syria and Yemen as well as ways to implement a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in July.

“We emphasized the importance of the proper presence of opposition [groups] based on international regulations, which would be acceptable to the Syrian people and which would contribute to peace in Syria,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

He said the opposition group in Syria should have no link with terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, Daesh, al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham.

“We have not seen an acceptable list of the names of the existing opposition and terrorist groups in Syria yet,” Zarif pointed out.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in New York on Wednesday to participate in the third round of international talks aimed at finding a solution to the Syria crisis. The first two rounds of talks on Syria were held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, onOctober 30 and November 14.

Iran-China interaction on Syria

In a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York on Friday, Zarif said Iran is keen to interact with China to help settle the Syrian crisis.

He added that China played a constructive role during the two previous rounds of international talks on Syria and emphasized that Tehran and Beijing can reach better outcomes in cooperation with other participants in the New York meeting.

He said despite all efforts, there are still different views about certain issues but expressed hope that the parties would manage to reach better and more positive results in the third round of Syria talks.

The Chinese minister, for his part, expressed his country’s readiness to help solve the Syrian conflict and said Beijing would make use of its utmost capacity in this regard.

It is important to differentiate between opposition groups and terrorists in Syria, Wang added.


Emad Askarieh has worked as a journalist since 2002. The main focus of his work is foreign policy and world diplomacy. He started his career at Iran Front Page Media Group, and is currently serving as the World Editor and the Vice-President for Executive Affairs at the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website.


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