Iran FM, top UN diplomat discuss leading regional, global issues
Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:1PM
On August 21, the head of the so-called opposition Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, claimed that 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman discuss leading regional and international issues, particularly developments in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. In a Monday meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran, Zarif said the Islamic Republic has a resolve to fully cooperate with the United Nations on issues of mutual interests. He added that Iran played an “active and constructive” role in resolving regional problems and issues including developments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has used and will use all its capacities and potentials to maintain and improve peace, stability and security in the region,” Zarif stated.The Iranian minister expressed concern over the spread of violence and extremism in the region.
“The spread of extremism will not be limited to regional borders and its consequences will affect other parts of the world and Western countries,” he pointed out.He emphasized that the UN is the only body that can restore stability and peace to the region in cooperation with influential regional countries. The minister reaffirmed Iran’s stance on settling the crisis in Syria through political approaches and voiced Tehran’s readiness to fully cooperate with the UN in this regard. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced since the outbreak of the violence. Zarif voiced Iran’s objections to the use of chemical weapons. On August 21, the head of the so-called opposition Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, claimed that 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. The Syrian government, however, has vehemently rejected the allegation, saying the foreign-backed militants had carried out the attack. Feltman, for his part, said Iran played an influential role in regional developments and expressed hope that strengthening cooperation between Tehran and the UN would help the sides promote regional stability and security, fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and improve education, health and treatment. He added that the UN supports the involvement of all important countries in resolving the Syrian unrest through peaceful channels. Feltman, a former US diplomat, last came to Tehran in August 2012 when Iran hosted the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). SF/HGH