German FM arrives in Tehran to attend int'l security conference
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 17
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Tehran on Oct. 17 to attend the preliminary meeting of the Munich Security Conference slated to be held in the Iranian capital city of Tehran on Oct. 18, State IRINN TV reported.
Munich Security Summit will be hosted by the Iranian foreign ministry's Institute for International and Political Studies (IIPS). High-ranking officials from 60 countries are scheduled to attend the event.
Steinmeier's visit follows from a three-day trip last July by German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who became the first senior figure from a large Western government to visit Tehran since it struck a landmark nuclear agreement with the world powers.
The top German diplomat is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as President Hassan Rouhani and Speaker Ali Larijani.
Steinmeier will discuss mutual ties and the Syrian crisis with Iranian officials. The next steps in implementing the deal on the Iranian nuclear program are also on the agenda.
Steinmeier's visit to Tehran is the first step of an official visit to regional states. His visit is very much focused on the search for ways to resolve the bloody conflict in Syria at a political level.
Ahead of his visit to Tehran, Steinmeier told an Iranian governmental newspaper that the Islamic Republic should use its influence to get the Syrian regime to discuss political transition.
Germany and Iran must have a joint interest to "stop the bloodshed," in Syria, Steinmeier said in the interview.
"I would like to see Iran using its influence to bring the Syrian government to the negotiating table, in order to discuss the beginning of the political transition process."
Only after the war ends, could there be a successful response to the extremists in the "Islamic State" group, which "spreads every day, like a tumor, amidst chaos and violence," Steinmeier said.
Iran has recently proposed an updated peace plan for Syria. The plan is focused on people's role, prevention of a power vacuum in Syria, fight against terrorism, aid delivery to the displaced, and dispatch of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, according to the Iranian officials.
Tehran has always expressed support for the government of the Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Islamic Republic views the Syrian regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as a part of an "axis of resistance" against Israel.
Western countries accuse Iran of running military operations in Syria, but Tehran denies the accusations. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that they only provide military consultation to the Syrian forces.