West should praise Iran for preventing power vacuum formation in Syria - deputy FM
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 27
By Umid Niayesh, Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
The western governments have finally noticed that power vacuum in Syria is a dangerous thing, Ebrahim Rahimpour, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania told Trend on Dec. 25.
This power vacuum in Syria can be abused by extreme inhumane groups, Rahimpour said, adding the terrorist groups should no be permitted to fill the vacuum in the country.
Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ally and it is clear that the Islamic Republic stands against terrorism in Syria, the senior diplomat said.
Rahimpour went on to add that Iran's standing besides Syria is a good thing for the region and the entire world as well.
He also said that the critique over Iran's position regarding the Syrian crisis has recently decreased, adding that the Western states should praise the Islamic Republic for its role in preventing the formation of a power vacuum in Syria.
Following the start of military confrontation in Syria between the armed opposition and the government forces, the Islamic State (IS, also referred to as ISIL or ISIS) penetrated the country in 2013. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared 'a holy war' against all groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Syrian government forces.
While responding to a question about continuing air strikes against the IS targets in Iraq in the future, Rahimpour said that Iraqi government as well as Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq are the Islamic Republic's allies and Iran will spare no help that they demand.
The Iranian deputy FM added that Tehran considers Iraq's security as its own, and joins the country in the fight against terrorists.
Western media outlets earlier reported that the Islamic Republic warplanes carried out raids in Iraq's Diyala province on Nov. 24, near the Iranian border. Iranian officials initially denied carrying out air strikes inside Iraq.
The Pentagon later confirmed Iranian aircraft had been in action, but stressed there had been no coordination with US forces, which have carried out multiple air strikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.
Early in December the Guardian quoted Rahimpour as saying the air strikes was carried out at the request of the Baghdad government but was not coordinated with the US.
"We will not allow conditions in Iraq to descend to the level of Syria, which has been created by foreign players," Rahimpour said, adding the Islamic Republic's assistance to Baghdad is stronger than its assistance to Syria, because Iraq is nearer to Iran.