Russia, Iran, Syria coordinate in Tehran talks
TEHRAN—The defense ministers of allies Iran, Russia and Syria on Friday held talks in Tehran on pressing the fight against opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The talks come as Damascus steps up its military campaign against both the ISIS militants and rebels in second city Aleppo whom it accuses of colluding with al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front.
Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehghan said he and his counterparts from Russia and Syria were determined to deliver a “decisive” battle against “all terrorist groups”.
Dehghan said the goal could be achieved by “blocking or preventing” these groups from receiving political support or weapons that could enable them “to conduct wider operations”.
The fight against “terrorism” must be done based on “a mutual program and specified priorities,” he said after the talks, the results of which should be seen “in the coming days”.
“We made decisions for what must be done on the regional and operational levels in an agreed upon and coordinated manner,” state television website quoted Dehghan as saying.
“The terrorists and their supporters must know that the group fighting against them is determined to support this route until the end and will do so. “The first step toward restoring security to the region is comprehensive ceasefire” and humanitarian aids, said Dehghan. “We agree to a guaranteed ceasefire that doesn’t lead to the strengthening of terrorists in this country,” he said, adding that “supporting the Syrian army forces” was another major topic. A Russian defense ministry statement before the meeting said talking points were “priority measures in reinforcing the cooperation between the defense ministries of the three countries in the fight with ISIS and al-Nusra terrorist groups.”
Iran and Russia are Syria’s main allies against the various armed groups fighting Assad, including ISIS militants.
Moscow has sent warplanes and special forces in support of his regime, while Tehran has deployed military advisers and trained and equipped pro-government militias.