Bahram Qasemi
Bahram Qasemi

Doubtful Prospects for US-Russia Deal on Syria Truce

Iran is in contact with Russia on the ceasefire agreement and a Russian delegation is due in Tehran for detailed discussions on the deal
The complexities of the crisis and the experience of past failed attempts at resolving tensions in Syria have reduced the chances of the new deal's success

Doubtful Prospects for US-Russia Deal on Syria Truce

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman voiced doubt over the success of a ceasefire plan for areas in southwestern Syria agreed by the US, Russia and Jordan, citing the complexities of the six-year crisis and the dubious nature of Washington's policies regarding the conflict.
Russia, the US and Jordan announced on Friday they agreed to back a ceasefire in southwestern Syria and to establish a de-escalation zone in an area involving parts of the Syrian provinces of Daraa, Sweida and Quneitra bordering the Israel-occupied Golan Heights.
The deal that came after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg took effect on Sunday.
Speaking in a regular press briefing on Monday, Bahram Qasemi added that Iran seeks to restore security to all parts of Syria and related efforts should not be limited to a certain location.
"If this agreement expands to cover all [de-escalation] zones we discussed in Astana talks and paves the way for consolidation of the ceasefire and stability, then it will be fairly helpful", IRNA quoted him as saying.
In the last round of Astana peace talks held last week, Russia, Turkey and Iran tried to finalize an agreement on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria but failed.
The region covered by the US-Russia-Jordan deal is one of the four zones.
  Unhelpful US Moves
The spokesman pointed out that considering Iran's understating of recent US measures in Syria, there are ambiguities and doubts over this pact, referring to several airstrikes against the positions of Syrian troops in southeastern Syria and the shooting down of a pro-government aircraft by the US military in recent weeks.
The attacks, which were widely seen as the first direct US attempt to change the status quo, were against targets the US claimed were posing a threat to US-backed forces in the area.
"If they want the ceasefire to hold, US actions such as attacking the Syrian Army and bombardments under false pretexts should stop," he said.
Russia and Iran are the main backers of the Syrian government while Washington supports militants fighting it.
Qasemi said the complexities of the crisis and the experience of past attempts at resolving tensions in Syria, which have led nowhere due to the failure to take account of ground realities, have reduced the chances of the new deal's success.
"We hope this agreement will produce a different result and will eventually extend to all Syria and bring peace and stability to the Arab nation," he said.
Qasemi said Iran is in contact with Russia on the agreement and a Russian delegation will arrive in Tehran for detailed discussions on the deal.

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