Zakzaky's safety among priorities in Iran's diplomacy

TEHRAN, Aug. 01 (MNA) – Amir-Abdollahian while referring to FM Zarif’s recent visit to Nigeria, said the issue on health condition of Sheikh Zakzaky, the Nigerian religious leader detained since December 13, 2015, has been one of the serious topics on Iran’s diplomacy agenda.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, former deputy foreign minister for Arab-African Affairs and Parliament Speaker's Adviser for International Affairs, further discussed the objectives of the visit of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to Tehran, saying “in the past few weeks, the US and Russia have held talks on expediting the process of political solution to the Syrian crisis.”

He went on to add, “the Americans are making attempts to convince Russians to their side at the end of the 18-month political process of which we have already passed 7 months, and remove President Bashar al-Assad though political means.”

Underscoring that Russians have not changed their strategy toward Syria, he said “they are still as determined as ever in their political and military fight against ISIL and al-Nusra Front, but the US is exerting great pressure on them.”

According to him, over 87, or based on some reports, up to 200 terrorist groups are active in Syria, each with at least 200-300 members; “most of them are called moderate opposition groups, but that is not true,” he stressed.

About Tehran- Riyadh relations, he said “we have received certain criticism over this, but tried to remain self-composed, but the truth of the matter is that the Saudi kingdom is facing a serious domestic crisis.”

He went on to add, “since the opening of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Iraq, we are witnessing more and more movements that seek to escalate tension between Shias, Sunnis and the Kurds.”

“Recent victories in Iraq, particularly in Fallujah, show a great improvement in the country’s situation, but one must be careful about the interventional games the Americans and the Saudis would play,” he warned.


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