Daily Israel Report

Iran 'Prepared for Exit of Foreign Forces from Syria'

Foreign Minister Zarif: "We are prepared for everybody with influence to push for withdrawal of all non-Syrians from Syrian soil.”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/6/2013, 10:13 AM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iran has said it is ready to call for the withdrawal of foreign fighters in Syria – presumably including its own fighters, who have been assisting President Bashar al-Assad's forces combat a 2.5-year old rebellion.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was asked if Iran would use its influence over Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in Syria.

“Iran is prepared to call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces. We are prepared for everybody with influence to push for (the) withdrawal of all non-Syrians from the Syrian soil,” Zarif replied, according to Euronews.

He also said a framework deal on nuclear talks was possible this week. Iran will resume negotiations with the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany in Geneva on Thursday.

In an interview with France 24 as he was in Paris for talks with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, Zarif said, “I believe it is possible to reach an agreement during this meeting, but I can only talk for our side, I cannot talk for the other side.”

Zarif added, however, that a failure to strike a deal in Geneva would not be “a disaster”.

“I believe we've come very far in the last three rounds [of talks], so we [only] need to make a few more steps,” he told France 24.

“We are prepared to make them in Geneva. But if we can't take them in Geneva, we'll take them in the next round.”

Meanwhile the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, said he is considering an invitation to visit Tehran, which would also be a sign of progress in the long stalled talks.