Iran Stresses Preserving Regional Countries’ Territorial Integrity
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined on Sunday that Iran attaches great importance to maintaining the territorial integrity of regional states, saying that Tehran wants security and stability in such countries as Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
“We have clearly told our friends, including Russia, that Iran puts emphasis on (maintaining) the territorial integrity of regional states as a principle,” Rouhani said at a press conference in Tehran.
“We want that (upholding territorial integrity) for Iraq, Syria, and Yemen,” the Iranian president stated, adding that those countries’ security and stability are important to Tehran.
He further pointed to a recent truce in Syria agreed upon by Russia and the US, and noted that Iran and Russia coordinate their moves and cooperate with each other on Syria.
This does not mean that Tehran approves of any move made by Moscow in Syria, Rouhani said, adding, however, that the two countries are in constant consultations about the Arab country.
“On Syria, we believe we should keep to a fair ceasefire and continuation of the fight against terrorism simultaneously so as to swiftly prepare the grounds for the developments required for reforming the constitution and holding the upcoming elections based on the Syrian nation’s opinion,” Rouhani stressed.
“The main objective is for the Syrian nation to return to a normal life and for the war to end in the country; our objective is that war, bloodshed and terrorism come to an end in Syria,” he added.
A cessation of fighting in Syria that took effect on February 27 was part of a negotiated deal, based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, passed in December 2015.
The deal that contained three main commitments around humanitarian access, a negotiated ceasefire and a political transition was reached in Munich by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), a group of international actors mandated to find a resolution to the Syrian conflict.
In theory, the ceasefire should apply to all of Syria. However, Russia has insisted that, along with its allied forces, it reserve the right to attack the Daesh (ISIL) group and al-Nusra Front forces as these two groups are outside the framework of the ceasefire, as are other groups labelled as “terrorist” by the UN.
The Russian coordinating unit in Syria said there had been nine breaches of the ceasefire, although the partial cessation of hostilities appeared to be broadly intact.
There are efforts to strengthen the ceasefire, increase humanitarian access and build confidence before the resumption of peace talks in Geneva on March 7.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with Takfiri terrorists, including the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, currently controlling parts of it, mostly in the east.
The Syrian conflict has killed at least 260,000 people, according to the UN, and more than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.4 million has been internally displaced or fled abroad.