A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic is committed to seeking a political solution to solve the nearly six-year crisis in Syria.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran remains committed to pursuing a political solution to put an end to the Syria crisis and believes that a military solution will work only in dealing with groups that refrain from laying down their weapons,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said in a meeting with Russia's special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in Tehran on Sunday.
He added that the Syria conflict cannot be resolved through political approaches as long as terrorist groups, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, an affiliate of al-Qaeda formerly known as al-Nusra Front, are operating in the Arab state and supported by certain regional countries.
He said some regional countries have expressed concern over the political initiatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Syria and do not have any sympathy for people in war-ravaged countries, but are worried that the terrorist groups they have been supporting are losing ground and on the decline.
“Undoubtedly, if these countries [that support terrorists] do not change their conduct, they will not be able to play a constructive role in the political process for determining the future of the region,” the SNSC secretary pointed out.
Iran, Russia, Syria will continue anti-terror campaign
The Russian envoy, for his part, said his country would continue its cooperation with Iran and Syria in the fight against terrorists and the groups refusing to commit to a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
Lavrentiev added that political negotiations among Iran, Russia, and Syria would have no effect on their battle against terrorist groups.
He reaffirmed Moscow's support for Tehran’s constructive role in the campaign for the establishment of peace in Syria.
The Russian diplomat assessed the successful Syrian peace talks held in the Kazakh capital of Astana as a considerable achievement helping the continuation of Iran-Russia-Turkey political initiatives.
Last month, Astana hosted the latest round of Syria peace talks sponsored by Iran, Russia and Turkey.
The two-day intra-Syrian talks between Damascus and opposition groups concluded on January 24, with Tehran, Moscow and Ankara agreeing on the establishment of a trilateral mechanism to support the ceasefire in Syria.
The three countries also played intermediary roles at the talks, where the United Nations envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, was also present.
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Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy over the past six years.
De Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.