Zarif sees no military solution to devastating crisis in Syria

Friday 15/01/2016
Is Iran ready to end its proxy war in Syria?

DAVOS (Switzerland) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday there could be no military solution to the devastating war in Syria and said further confrontation with Saudi Arabia was in no one's interest.

"There is no military solution to the (Syrian) crisis. We need a political solution," Zarif told an audience at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

Iran is a major player in this year's edition of the Davos meeting, just days after Tehran sealed a historic deal ending punishing sanctions by the West over its nuclear programme.

But a US decision on Sunday to reimpose some sanctions, this time over Iran's missile programme dampened the proceedings, with Zarif calling the move "bizarre".

"I find it rather bizarre that the United States expresses concern over the Iranian missile programme, which is defensive and does not violate any current international regulation," Zarif said, addressing an audience of bankers and top business figures.

Zarif also urged Saudi Arabia to not choose conflict as tensions between the two countries reach boiling point.

"I think our Saudi neighbours need to understand that confrontation is in the interests of no one," he said.

"There is no reason to panic, my friends," Zarif said, addressing the Saudis directly.

"Iran is there to work with you, Iran does not want to exclude anybody from this region," he said.