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Alliance News

Iran Pushes Common Regional Strategy As Way To Fight Islamic State

Wed, 26th Aug 2015 10:45

TEHRAN (Alliance News) - Talks involving Iran, the Gulf states and Turkey are necessary to wage an effective war against Islamic State militants, Marzieh Afkham, spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, argued Wednesday.

Iran is pushing for the negotiations on the crises in Syria and Yemen to begin next month, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.

But the six Gulf states - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman - might reject the talks.

Afkham lobbied for a common strategy on Syria and Yemen, saying the crises in both countries only strengthen Islamic State militants.

But such cooperation is unlikely, given the chasm separating the countries.

Iran is the only significant regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It is also the main backer of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which provides key support to Assad's overstretched forces, who have lost ground recently to rebel groups backed by Tehran's Sunni rivals as well as to Islamic State.

Iran also backs the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies launched an air campaign in March after rebels advanced on Aden and forced the president to flee the country.

Saudi Arabia is part of the US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State, which rules large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Iran's push for negotiations follows a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six major powers that Iran has said will provide a basis for cooperation with its neighbours.

Copyright dpa

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