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Syria and Iraq FMs in Tehran for 'anti-terrorism' conference


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Syria and Iraq FMs in Tehran for 'anti-terrorism' conference

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The Syrian foreign minister Walid Mualem is in Tehran for conference on combating extremism, which will also be attended by his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) event, which starts on Tuesday, comes against a backdrop of the growing threat of violence from Islamist extremists such as the so-called Islamic State group which has seized huge swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Speaking ahead of the conference Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran realised the danger of violence and extremism in Iraq since the very first day and stood by the Iraqi nation, and we will stand by the Iraqi people including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Arabs until the end of (their) fight against extremism and terror.”

Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and has acknowledged sending military advisors to assist his forces against armed rebels and extremists.

On Friday a senior Iranian official claimed that air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq were carried out at the request of Baghdad, but were not coordinated with the US.

Tehran is not part of the US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes on ISIL targets in both Syria and Iraq, and has cast doubt on their intentions.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ebrahim Rahimpour has accused Turkey and Saudi Arabia of seeking to establish ISIL as an alternative government to Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

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