‘No military solution possible in Syria’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday there could be no military solution to the devastating war in Syria and vowed to throw Tehran s weight behind a political solution.

Appearing at a gathering of political and business leaders in Switzerland just days after Iran sealed a historic deal ending punishing sanctions by the West over its nuclear programme, Zarif said Iran was now determined to help end a conflict in Syria that has killed more than 250,000 people and left millions displaced.

“There is no military solution to the (Syrian) crisis. We need a political solution. Everyone must understand that,” he told the elite meeting in the snow-covered ski resort of Davos.

Zarif said Iran believed a ceasefire in Syria was required before a national unity government could be set up and elections based on a new constitution held.

“We are determined to assist in this process,” he said.

Iran wanted the region to make common cause against “our common threat — extremism”, he said.

He said the Islamic State jihadists and the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra — another extremist group which is fighting the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria — were “ravaging our entire region and ravaging the world”.

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