Regional Unity Essential in Fighting Terrorism

Regional Unity Essential in Fighting Terrorism
Regional Unity Essential in Fighting Terrorism

Former diplomat Seyyed Hossein Mousavian has proposed the formation of a "regional coalition" to confront the rise of terrorist groups including the self-declared Islamic States (IS) militants.

Mousavian said on Thursday at a conference in Washington, D.C. that regional Muslim states including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq should form a partnership in order to combat "takfiri extremists."    

A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of being an unbeliever.

He said both Iran and the United State are now combating against IS militants "directly and indirectly," however, considering the US military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the "disastrous consequences" of those wars, Washington's role in fighting against IS militants is questionable,  IRNA reported.

He said, "The US launched a war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and (later) in Iraq that have led to the escalation of terrorism in the region.

"Thanks to those wars today not only the Taliban and al-Qaeda have not been eliminated, but also more dangerous terrorist groups like al-Nusra and Daesh (IS) are born."

Mousavian was Iran's ambassador to Germany  from 1990 to 1997 and served as a top nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. He is now a research scholar at Princeton University and is believed to have close connections with Iran's foreign ministry and diplomatic circles.

He also criticized efforts by western countries as well as some regional states seeking to overthrow the Syrian government and said the real power fighting IS in Syria is the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and any move to topple the Damascus government will strengthen IS.      

"If today  the Assad government collapses, we will see a much worse situation in Syria (than it is today)," the state-owned Russian news agency Sputnik quoted him as saying.