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Islamic State can’t be defeated by air strikes alone, says Iran FM

"It's a very dangerous phenomenon, and we all need to be aware of how to deal with this issue," said Iran FM.

By: Press Trust of India | Washington |
September 18, 2014 10:15:20 am
Iran's Foreign Minister Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a dangerous phenomenon, but the terrorist organisation can not be defeated by air strikes alone, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.

“It’s a very dangerous phenomenon, and we all need to be aware of how to deal with this issue. It will not be eradicated through aerial bombardment, because we need new tools to deal with these new realities,” Zarif said here at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think tank.

Zarif said that Iran would not hesitate in providing support to its friends, to deal with this menace. “We believe that we need to deal with this menace. This is not a threat against a singular community, nor a threat against a singular region,” he said.

“It was not confined to Syria, nor will it be confined to Iraq. It’s a global threat. “There are thousands of foreign fighters in Iraq and
Syria. And they come from all over the world. And that is why they have very little mercy for the people they occupy and they rule over,” the top Iranian diplomat said.

The Iranian Foreign Minister was also highly critical of the US-led international coalition against ISIS. “I would call (it) a coalition of repenters, because most participants in that meeting in one form or another provided support to ISIS in the course of its creation and upbringing and expansion, actually at the end of the day, creating a Frankenstein that came to haunt its creators,” he said.

Zarif said Iran has played a central role in dealing with ISIS. “I wouldn’t call it Islamic State, because it’s neither Islamic, as President Obama rightly pointed out, nor a state. It’s a terrorist organisation, a sophisticated terrorist organisation that has come to being because of a number of reasons,” he said.

The challenge of ISIS is certainly one challenge that has arisen, because of this lack of understanding of the new realities in the region, he said.

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