Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the ongoing crisis in Syria can be only resolved by adopting ‘realistic’ policies towards the situation in the Arab state.
“We have to be realistic. If we want to resolve the Syrian crisis we have to follow real politics. In other words, if we stick to our ideals, wishes or things which are not realistic, then we may go astray,” Salehi said in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.
He stated that everybody should recognize the fact that the Syrian government is legal and no external power has the right to ask it to step down ‘because that would be a clear indication of interference in the internal affairs of a country’.
Salehi also underlined the need to end the ‘blame game’ in Syria in order to be able to settle the unrest in the Arab country.
“So [we should] stop the blame game [in Syria and] look forward, follow real politics, be realistic, bring the opposition and the government together, form an interim government, draft a new constitution, hold parliamentary elections and a presidential election and [do all these] under international supervision and the UN monitoring system so that everybody is given the guarantee that there is no ambiguity,” he explained.
Referring to the presence of foreign-backed militants in Syria, Salehi added that according to western intelligence services most of those militants come from abroad and are members of the Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.
The top diplomat also noted that the people of Syria are the ones who should decide the future of their country.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 and tens of thousands of people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Damascus blames western countries and some of their regional allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the opposition and fueling the crisis in the country, as reports indicate that a large number of insurgents fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored insurgents of war crimes.
Iran has repeatedly rejected foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs, calling for national dialog as the only way out of the country’s prolonged impasse.
In a key speech in January, the Syrian president stated that Damascus was always ready to hold talks with the opposition and political parties and that he would call for a ‘comprehensive national dialog’ after the terrorist activities stopped in the country.
The Syrian president also urged ‘concerned states and parties’ to stop funding, arming and harboring militants.
Satisfaction Over Talks
Salehi further pointed to the recent round of talks between Tehran and the P5+1 group--the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia plus Germany--in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and noted that both sides have expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the negotiations.
“I think that both sides have come to an understanding that this is a good opportunity to look for a peaceful, logical, rational, [and] prudent solution that would satisfy both sides and it could be paraphrased and translated as win-win negotiations,” Salehi stated.
The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 was held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 27-28. The two sides agreed to meet again in Almaty on April 5-6 to continue the talks after holding expert-level negotiations in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 17-18.
Indonesia Not Afraid Of Anti-Iran Bans
Indonesian State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan underscored Jakarta’s determination to continue cooperation with Iran in defiance of the West’s embargos against Tehran over its nuclear energy program.
Indonesia does not fear the sanctions and it will continue its cooperation with Iran, Iskan, who was accompanied by Iran’s Ambassador to Indonesia Mahmoud Farazandeh, told reporters on the sidelines of visiting Merdeka news center in Jakarta.
The Indonesian minister praised Iran for making headway in path of development despite the West’s heavy embargoes and pointed to Tehran’s achievements in recent years as testifying this fact, IRNA reported on Friday.
Resorting to false allegations about non-civilian dimensions to Iran’s nuclear energy program, Washington and Brussels have slapped several rounds of illegal unilateral embargoes against Tehran.
Iskan praised Iran’s breakthroughs in advanced technologies which have prompted international companies to become key customers of Iranian products.
The Iranian ambassador, for his part, praised Indonesia as a revolutionary, friend and brother nation and noted that the Iranian and Indonesian governments have always sought to enhance mutual ties based on that understanding.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Farazandeh lashed out at the West for its efforts to ‘monopolize state-of-the-art technologies’.
The diplomat pointed to Iran’s remarkable scientific background and the nation’s potential to bridge the existing technological gap with the West and argued that western animosity towards Iran is rooted in its awareness of that historical fact.
Swiss FM Optimistic About Nuclear Talks
Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter has expressed optimism about the latest round of talks between Iran and the group of six major world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on the Iranian nuclear energy program.
In a meeting with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for European-American affairs Ali Asghar Khaji in the Swiss capital, Bern, on Wednesday, Burkhalter hoped that during the next round of negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1 in Almaty, the sides would reach an agreement to open a new chapter to resolve issues.
The Swiss minister recommended that Iran and the P5+1--China, Russia, Britain, France, the US and Germany--lead the Almaty talks to achieve practical results.
During the meeting, Burkhalter and Khaji exchanged views on Tehran-Bern relations as well as the latest regional and international developments.
The latest round of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 was held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 27-28. The two sides agreed to convene again in the city on April 5-6 to continue the talks after holding expert-level talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 17-18.
Both sides expressed hope and optimism about the future of the talks. On February 28, Reuters quoted an unnamed western diplomat as saying that, “This was more constructive and more positive than previous meetings because they were really focusing on the proposal on the table.”
In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF on March 1, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi described the latest round of the talks as a ‘milestone’ and a ‘turning point in the negotiations’.
Earlier on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said if the P5+1 group continues its logical approach, future talks on Tehran’s nuclear energy program can yield results acceptable to both sides.
Envoy Slams Qur’an Desecration By Israeli Forces
Iran’s permanent ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned the desecration of the holy Qur’an by Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In a meeting with OIC’s Assistant Secretary General for Palestine Affairs Samir Bakr, Hamid Reza Dehqani called for a strongly-worded reaction of the OIC member countries in condemning the act by the Israeli soldiers, Press TV reported on Thursday.
The Iranian envoy underlined the significance of making use of the potentials of the OIC and its subsidiary institutions, including the Al-Quds committee, to prevent the Israeli regime’s crimes against the oppressed Palestinian people and the Muslims’ holy values.
Bakr, for his part, censured the continuation of human rights violations by the Israeli regime in the occupied territories and called for the ad-hoc meeting of the OIC’s Al-Quds committee.
He added that the OIC has condemned the move by issuing a press statement.
On Sunday, March 3, Israeli forces stormed a session of Qur’an recitation in Al-Aqsa Mosque in the West Bank, when a Zionist soldier stepped on a copy of Islam’s holy book.
This is not the first time that Israelis have desecrated Muslim sanctities.
Israeli forces and settlers have on numerous occasions attacked mosques and religious sites in occupied Palestinian territories.
China Against ‘Blind’ Sanctions On Iran
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reaffirmed her country’s support for Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy, expressing Beijing’s opposition to ‘blind’ sanctions against Tehran.
“We believe that Iran, as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has the right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes while following relevant international obligations,” she said at a daily press briefing on Thursday, Xinhua reported.
She added that ‘blind’ sanctions will not help resolve the Iranian nuclear issue and the use of force is even more unacceptable. Hua insisted on ‘dialog and negotiations’ as the only way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
The Chinese spokesperson stressed the importance of maintaining and promoting negotiations to properly solve the Iranian nuclear issue in a comprehensive way.
She pointed to the latest round of talks between Iran and the six major world powers of P5+1 group in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and noted that the sides achieved active results.
Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany) wrapped up their latest talks in Almaty on February 27.
Both sides agreed to reconvene in Almaty on April 5-6 for the next round of the negotiations after holding expert-level talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 17-18.
On February 28, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu, who heads the Chinese delegation to the talks between Iran and the P5+1, urged both sides to maintain their negotiations process and said they made ‘tangible progress’ in their latest round of talks.
Hua further urged all relevant parties to step up their diplomatic efforts in a flexible and practical manner and resume substantive negotiations at an early date.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member state of the P5+1, China has always reaffirmed Iran’s right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and stressed that negotiations and dialog are the right approach to address the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue.
In an address to a Security Council meeting on Wednesday, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Wang Min reiterated his country’s strong opposition to the US-led unilateral sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program, saying Beijing is not in favor of putting excessive pressure or new sanctions against Tehran.
The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has categorically rejected the claim. Based on the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed several rounds of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Quakes Hit NW
A series of mild earthquakes struck the town of Varzaqan in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Friday. The quakes left no damage and casualties.