Iranian absence at Paris Conference "regrettable"
Paris (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Yesterday's Paris
Conference ended in an agreement between 40 Arab and non-Arab states to join
forces with Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS). Also yesterday US continued
air raids in the north and south-west of Baghdad and French planes began
reconnaissance flights. Iraq, co-sponsor of the meeting, however, criticized
the decision not to invite Iran to the Conference judging Tehran's absence
The Iraqi foreign minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, said that all countries of the world should be concerned about terrorism. "Iran - he added - is our neighbor, they have supported us on many occasions and should have been present."
Iran's absence is due to the veto of the United States, allies of Saudi Arabia, who in their desire to defeat the IS, do not want to strengthen Syria's Assad, in turn, an ally of Iran. For this reason, even Syria was barred from the Conference.
The point is that it is difficult to vanquish the Islamist militias without targeting them in Syria, where they have their bases. But in order to carry out air raids on Syria they must have the consent of the government in Damascus, unpalatable to the United States, although a bitter enemy of the IS.
To save the coalition, the final declarations from yesterday's summit make no mention of possible operations in Syria, although Iraq and other military experts have requested them.
The United States plan is to use the bombings in Syria to reinforce the Al Nusra troops (al Qaeda) and other opponents of Syrian regime, who are also IS enemies. Iran is opposed to giving "carte blanche" to the United States. Yesterday, the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the United States requested Iran's collaboration, but he refused to give it. "I said no, because they have dirty hands," he said. He added the US was seeking a "pretext to do in Iraq and Syria what it already does in Pakistan - bomb anywhere without authorization".
For now, the goals of the coalition are to help Iraqi reconstruction; address the urgent humanitarian needs of refugees; collaborate integration between Sunnis and Shiites in government and in the north-central region; stop the flow of funding and recruits to the IS.
The Paris meeting was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a great ally of Syria. He said they will bring "a special contribution" to the fight against the jihadists, many of whom come from Chechnya. This contribution will have "a broader objective: the preparation of in-depth analysis of this situation," to help the Iraqi government to fight terrorists and support the security of the state.