‘Training militants shows West duplicity’ : Iran
A senior Iranian official says training and arming terrorists indicate the insincerity of western countries and their regional allies in the fight against terrorism.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani (SNSC) made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Iraqi President Fuad Masum in the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the Iranian official referred to recent victories in Iraq and Syria in the fight against terrorism, saying, “Some countries’ dissatisfaction with the Iraqi and Syrian army’s victories against Takfiri groups as well as the training and arming of mercenary terrorists to fight the legitimate government of Syria indicate the insincerity of western countries and their regional supporters in the fight against terrorism.”
Following several months of negotiations, Turkey and the United States struck an agreement in February to train and arm what the two sides describe as “moderate” militants in Syria. Turkish authorities initially announced that the project would get underway in March, but later changed it to May.
Shamkhani also underscored the expansion of regional and economic ties as well as cooperation in the field of security between Iran and Iraq as a strategic opportunity to provide security for the region, and encounter terrorism.
“Cooperation between Iran and Iraq in the fight against terrorism and the restoration of security to vast areas in this country (Iraq) can ensure tranquility and lasting welfare for the oppressed Iraqi people, including Shias, Sunnis and Kurds through designing and implementing effective economic programs,” he added.
Shamkhani also pointed to Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen, saying “Muslim countries in the region should cleverly and by utilizing political solutions keep the crisis from flaring up and Muslim nations’ wealth from going to waste.”
He also stated that Muslim countries should tap into their potential to “counter the Zionist regime [of Israel] as the number-one threat to the region.”
The Iraqi president, for his part, praised Iran’s efforts to counter terrorism in the region and stressed furhter consultations and cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad in areas of mutual interest.
Masum also confirmed that the crisis in Yemen has no military solution, stressing that humanitarian aid should be delivered to the Yemeni people.
He said countries the insecurity and instability that supporters of terrorism have caused will come back to haunt them.
The Iraqi president was welcomed officially by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday. The Iraqi president also met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.