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Foreign Affairs

FM: US making instrumental use of Syrian minorities as infantrymen

Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday the United States is making instrumental use of certain Syrian minority groups as its army infantrymen.

Upon arrival at Moscow airport to take part in an international conference at Valdai Institute, Zarif said given the close and strategic relations between Tehran and Moscow in the region, the Valdai conference is very important.

Iran's top diplomat said the session was an opportunity to outline the Islamic Republic's views on the need to establish security and stability in the region. He reiterated that the latest stage of US presence in Syria is very a dangerous one.

It is clear that the Americans are engaged in activities in Syria through a uncalculated policy, trying to occupy parts of the Syrian territory, the Iranian foreign minister said.

Washington's misuse of certain Syrian groups as its army infantrymen can leave long term effects on the historical memory of the Syrian people and cause tension inside that country besides fanning the flame of certain dangerous regional tensions, Zarif said.

The only thing the White House officials are thinking about is how to confront Iran in the region and this has given shape to a very dangerous policy, Zarif said.

Many are trying to portray recent developments in Syria and shooting down of an intruding jet fighter of the Zionist regime after 36 years by the Damascus government as a threat to the region while Iran and Russia are of the belief that the strategic threat to the region is the way the US is present there and the policies being followed by Washington, he said.

Zarif said besides delivering a speech at the conference, he would discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov bilateral relations, situation of the region and forthcoming meeting of the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Astana on Syria.

The international conference dubbed 'Russia in Middle East: playing roles in all scenes' is held on February 19 in Valdai Institute

The two-day event has brought together thinkers and officials from 30 countries to discuss various topics including situation in Syria in post-Daesh era, prospects of Palestine-Israel conflict, Yemen situation, mechanisms for helping Libya and de-escalation of regional conflicts.

Zarif and his accompanying delegation were in Munich to attend the 54th Munich Security Conference held from February 16-18 in the German city.

The Valdai Discussion Club is a Moscow-based think tank which was established in 2004. It is named after Lake Valdai, which is located close to Veliky Novgorod, where the Club's first meeting took place.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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