Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Wednesday that the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group cannot be destroyed by Western bombing attacks.
ZarifSpeaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Zarif said the best thing a U.S.-led coalition can do to fight ISIL, also known as Islamic State, is to cut off the sources of assistance and financial support that go to the extremist group.
“ISIL will not be eradicated by aerial bombardments,” he said, adding that the threat posed by the group cannot be contained to Iraq and Syria alone. It is “a global threat,” he said.
He said Iran doesn’t trust the U.S.’s willingness to fight Islamic State across the region.
Zarif said the U.S. cannot successfully fight the Syrian government and ISIL simultaneously in Syria.
He said Iran didn’t hesitate to offer help to Iraq when the terrorist group made gains but said neither Tehran nor Western countries should send troops into Iraq. “Foreign forces will not be able to uproot this menace from the region,” he said. “As a principle, we don’t believe that injection of foreign forces – either air or ground – solves our problem.”
“ISIL terrorists are an outcome of foreign invasion in the Middle East,” said Zarif. He said the states that took part in a Paris conference on the US-led coalition against the ISIL earlier this week, had supported the Takfiris in the past.
The Iranian foreign minister noted that Iran was the first country to take measures to help Iraq in the face of the Takfiri threat.
InspectorsOn Iran’s nuclear program, Zarif slammed the United States for its obsession with sanctions against Tehran.
“Iran has lived up to its obligations regarding the nuclear program and is determined to resolve the issue,” he stated. He said Iran wouldn’t accept a nuclear deal lasting 10 or 15 years, “but I’m willing to live with less.”
Zarif said Iran has already allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit Parchin twice and if it allows a future visit, we will be “having a very serious conversation with them about the limits of this [search].”