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Iran most powerful state in Middle East: Zarif

30 October 2016 18:18

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is the most powerful state in the Middle East region through reliance on the high values and genuine principles of the Islamic Revolution.

The ongoing international developments have created an outstanding position for Iran, Zarif said in an address to a conference featuring the country’s military attaches as well as defense and police representatives of the Armed Forces in Tehran on Sunday.

As the topmost power in the region, Iran has an undeniable influence on the recent developments in the region and across the world, he said, adding that Iran’s power can at the current juncture be transformed into an institutionalized and long-term influence and power on the international scene.

The top Iranian diplomat added that the country is currently at a tense, sensitive and decisive period, stressing the importance of remaining vigilant, identifying threats and relying on domestic capabilities, including the country’s military and economic potential, as well as the Islamic principles.

Need for unconditional global fight against terrorism

The Iranian foreign minister also underlined the need for an unconditional international campaign against terrorism, saying, “We believe that the entire world must fight terrorism without any precondition.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Zarif said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is a democratic system which has always been present on the international scene through popular vote,” adding that such an establishment “has no concern about” expressing its opinion on every issue.

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to a day-long visit by European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to Tehran on Saturday and said he had expressed the country’s views about the significance of fighting terrorism in Syria and finding a political solution to the crisis in the Arab state.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia. Backed by the Russian air cover, the Syrian military is engaged in an operation to rid the country of Daesh and other terrorist groups.

Over the past few weeks, the Syrian forces have wrested control over several areas across the war-torn country as they press ahead with their counter-terrorism operations.

Iran and Russia have similar stances on the ongoing deadly crisis in Syria. Moscow and Tehran reject any foreign interference in the affairs of the war-hit country, stressing that only the Syrians are entitled to decide their own fate.

Iran has been providing military advisory assistance to the Syrian government in its campaign against terrorism. Russia’s aid, meanwhile, has chiefly come in the form of airstrikes against terrorist positions in Syria.

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