Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is not seeking to “dominate” the Middle East, stressing that the Islamic Republic, instead, is trying to help restore peace and security to the region.
“Our presence in Iraq and Syria is at the invitation of the governments of these countries to fight terrorism,” Rouhani told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a telephone conversation on Tuesday.
“Iran does not seek to dominate” the region, he emphasized, adding, “The main purpose of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region is to fight terrorism, and we believe that after Daesh (ISIL), the rest of the terrorist groups must be fought with.”
“…Iran’s goal is to help bring peace and security to the region and prevent division of countries, and in our opinion, in all the countries of the region, the main decision-makers in the region are its people,” Rouhani said.
It came after Senior Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani announced on Tuesday that the self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh terrorist group has formally collapsed in Islamic territories after recapture of its last stronghold in Syria’s Al-Buakaml.
Macron, for his part, called for the expansion of bilateral ties between Tehran and Paris in all fields.
He also stressed that all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers should help protect the agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The French president further said that his government is making all-out effort to help banks and businesspeople strengthen their ties with Iran.
Macron also expressed the hope that the situations in Yemen and Syria would come to an end as soon as possible.
The French president invited his Iranian counterpart to travel to Paris next month to attend the international climate change conference.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. Over 14,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.