Airstrikes, Occupation No Answer to Terrorism

Airstrikes, Occupation  No Answer to Terrorism Airstrikes, Occupation  No Answer to Terrorism

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has said terrorism cannot be solved by airstrikes and occupation calling into question the US-led campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria.

"I think it is very unlikely to destroy IS militants by just dropping bombs on their heads," Ali Larijani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday via a video link in Geneva.

Larijani was in Geneva to take part in the 131st Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly.

He said, "You cannot solve terrorism by occupation. And in order to fight them effectively, you have to choose another method. And you know that we (Iran) have good experience in that, because we have actually fought against them.

"Iran went to the side of the Iraqis very early when the crisis broke out; we don't want to go to the media and talk about what we did for the Iraqis. But in practice, we defended them."

In August the US and its allies started airstrikes against IS militants in Iraq and later extended the aerial bombardment to Syria as part of a US-led coalition.  

Iran has refused to be part of the coalition since it accuses the US and its other members, including some regional countries, of adopting double standards when it comes to the issue of terrorism.

Iranian officials have frequently stated that Tehran backs the governments in Iraq and Syria and has already provided them with military assistance in forms of advisory support and aid within the framework of international law.

  Iraqis Can Defeat IS  

In response to a question about deployment of foreign troops on the ground in Iraq to fight IS militants, Larijani said "Our assessment is telling us this is not going to solve the problem and this is going to create a new problem in the future.

"We know Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in both countries (Syria and Iraq) are capable enough to defeat IS terrorists."

The United States, he said, should concern itself more with making sure that financial and military support does not find its way to IS.  

He added, "IS was not a group that was created on its own. We have to get to the root causes, and we have to know that big powers were responsible for its creation and also some countries of the region."

  Nuclear Deal Possible  

The official also said it is possible for Iran and its negotiating partners to reach a final deal on Tehran's nuclear program.

"I think the remaining issues, or the outstanding issues, can be resolved by that deadline, November twenty fourth."

"It would be very unlikely to achieve a deal if both sides keep bargaining over small things," he added.

On the possibility of a total breakdown and no extension of the negotiations, Larijani said it would be "a diplomatic loss" for the US and the other parties as well.

"The important thing is Iran is trying to be transparent and is going to be clear about its nuclear energy program," he stressed.

Iran and the six major powers (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) are trying to build on an interim nuclear accord they reached in Geneva last November to hammer out a long-term settlement to the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which has dragged on for over a decade.