Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has praised Russia's withdrawal from Syria after nearly half a year of military engagement in the country’s conflict, claiming that this is "a good sign" that signals that the ceasefire is durable.
Speaking at a press conference after his meeting with his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, Zarif stated that "Iran has long aspired for a lasting ceasefire in Syria, and Russia's announcement that it would start withdrawing its forces from Syria indicates that it no longer deems military intervention vital to maintain the ceasefire.
"By excluding ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra from the ceasefire, the world has delivered these organizations a message that it is united against them and that the fight against them will not abate," Zarif added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday night that the "main part" of Russian armed forces in Syria would start to withdraw, explaining that Russia had achieved its goals in Syria.
The General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition, Riad Hijab, praised the Russian withdrawal and urged Iran to follow suit.
"The Russian announcement must be followed by additional moves to push the rest of the foreign forces out of Syria, especially the Iranian forces and the terrorist militias," Hijab wrote in his Twitter page.