Opposition to Disintegration of Syria, Iraq

Opposition to Disintegration of Syria, IraqOpposition to Disintegration of Syria, Iraq

A high-ranking Iranian official said Tehran and Berlin are strongly opposed to promoting separatism in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq.

Ali Akbar Velayati, head of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council, made the statement on Tuesday in a joint press conference with visiting Markus Ederer, secretary of state at the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

"Iran and Germany are against any separatist [approaches] and [moves] encouraging the disintegration of regional states, as they damage the interests of the region and its people," IRNA quoted Velayati as saying.

"If these destructive intentions are realized, [separatism] will spread in the whole region and totally endanger its security."

The senior official was pointing to media speculations on the growing willingness among Kurdish authorities to separate from Iraq and reported plans by some western powers to divide Syria along ethnic lines.

Velayati said Tehran and Berlin share the view that regional problems should be solved fairly and peacefully, and the fact prepares the ground for closer cooperation to help settle those issues.

"Cooperation between Tehran and Germany can be positive, since we are both against terrorists who fight legitimate governments in Syria, Iraq or any other places, and believe that the Syrian crisis has no solution but a political one," he said.

  Big Mistake  

Velayati warned the US and its western allies of dire consequences of dividing terrorists into "good" and "bad" ones, declaring it a "big mistake" at a critical juncture of history.

"Dividing terrorists into moderate and hardliner is ridiculous and is to justify dangerous measures in the region," he said.

"They put supporting moderate terrorists on the agenda to fight a legitimate government elected by its nation; this will have irreversible consequences."

Velayati, who is also a foreign policy advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said if western plans for Syria succeed, "another Libya could take shape".

Libya has been in complete chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi by western-backed forces, with two rival administrations and armed groups fighting for control of the country.

Asked whether Russia's support for Syria against terrorists is fading, Velayati said he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin firmly backs the Syrian government.

"My impression about the Russian president's [remarks] in his [last year's] trip to Iran and my five trips to Russia is that he never had any doubts over supporting the legitimate Syrian government," he said.

Russia, which began its military airstrikes against militant groups in Syria last September upon a request from the government in Damascus, announced on February 27 that it had decided to stop its campaign against rebels to help secure a ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington.

Ederer stressed the need for delivering humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Syrians and preparing the ground for the formation of a transitional government to help the Arab country have a better future.

The German diplomat said greater efforts should be devoted in the fight against Al-Nusra terrorist group, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in Syria.