Middle East Needs No Custodian

Middle East Needs No CustodianMiddle East Needs No Custodian

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned world powers’ military presence in the Middle East, saying regional Muslim nations are “mature enough” to decide their own affairs without needing any “custodian”.

The remarks were made in a televised interview with Kuwait’s Al-Rai TV, ISNA reported.

The speaker, however, denied any contradiction between his statements and Iran’s presence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. “The Iraqi government itself sought help from Iran to fight the terrorists who invaded their country.”

Iran supports Muslim countries in the region, but it does not intend to exert any dominance or influence over them, he noted.     

  Not Pessimistic

On the future of the nuclear talks with the major powers in view of the forthcoming end-March deadline for a general agreement, he said considerable steps have been taken over the course of the recent negotiations that have helped dissipate pessimism about the future of talks.

When asked about a possible change in the status of the Islamic Republic in the region once a nuclear deal is reached with the West, he criticized the media for making the false claim that Iran would dominate the region after striking a nuclear agreement. “Iran follows a peaceful and brotherly policy toward regional countries.”

On the claim that the international coalition led by the US prevented the so-called Islamic State, which has seized vast tracts of land in Iraq and Syria, from invading other Arab countries, Larijani said, “Airstrikes are ineffective in confronting the terrorists,” he said, adding that ground operations are needed to deal with militant groups. “It was the Iraqi nation that fought IS and managed to push them back,” he added. Denying the Iraqis’ role is like cooperating with the terrorists, he said, criticizing the US for grasping every opportunity to claim that “it is managing the world.”