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Airstrikes will fail to eradicate terrorism: Iran’s Larijani

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani (R) shakes hands with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Tehran on July 12, 2016. © IRNA

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani says the presence of terrorist groups in the Middle East has created a critical situation, emphasizing that airstrikes will fail to uproot terrorism.

“Terrorism is not a simple and tactical issue and cannot be solved by airstrikes,” Larijani said in a meeting with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Tehran on Tuesday.

He added that terrorism has  spread not only in the Middle East but even across Europe, and called for collective international cooperation to fight the phenomena.

The Iranian parliament (Majlis) speaker further pointed to deep-rooted relations between Tehran and Sofia and said the current visit by the Bulgarian premier and his accompanying delegation to Iran can be a turning point in ties between the two countries.

He noted that trade and banking interaction between Iran and Bulgaria can serve as a good model and play a leading role in improving cooperation between Iran and other member countries of the European Union.

He added that Iranian enterprises are keen to improve trade ties with EU member states, saying, “It seems that the European Union should study obstacles in the way of the expansion of relations with Iran and the Europeans must make use of such an opportunity in the best way.”

Iran can establish sustainable security for Europe in the energy sector but the EU should fulfill the conditions for such a measure, Larijani said.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started implementing a nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16. The two sides reached the agreement in July, 2015.

Under the deal, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.

Many large European banks refrain from engaging in transactions with Iran for the fear of US sanctions.


Bulgaria’s leading role in Iran-Europe enhanced ties

The Bulgarian premier, for his part, said his country can play an effective role in the expansion of ties between Iran and European countries.

He proposed that Iran dispatch a banking delegation to Bulgaria to identify and remove obstacles in the way of enhanced trade cooperation.

Borisov said terrorism is a major international crisis and emphasized that no faith supports measures by terrorist groups although certain countries back terrorists.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Borisov arrived in the Iranian capital late on Sunday.

The Bulgarian prime minister held talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday. In a meeting between Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and Borisov on Monday, Tehran and Sofia signed three memoranda of understanding to further promote relations in various fields, including agriculture, transport and nuclear energy.

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