Iran important player in Mideast: UN chief

Iran important player in Mideast: UN chief
Wed Sep 17, 2014 14:56:00

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has highlighted Iran’s status in the Middle East, saying the Islamic Republic plays an important role in the establishment of regional peace.

“As I said many times in the past, Iran is an important actor and [an] important country in the region when it comes to peace and security and harmony in the region,” Ban told reporters at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

The UN chief made the remarks when asked about Iran’s role in settling crises in the Middle East, including in Iraq and Syria.

Ban said he was looking forward to meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during their stay in New York.

“I'm always ready to discuss and consult the Iranian leadership,” he said, adding that he has also asked his special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to have a closer consultation with Iranian leadership.

Zarif is in New York for a new round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. Rouhani will also head to New York later this month to attend the UN General Assembly meeting.

Iran has repeatedly voiced readiness to further contribute to the establishment of peace and security in the region.

The Islamic Republic has on several occasions voiced support for the Iraqi government since it began fighting against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in June. The ISIL terrorists are in control of some areas in Syria and have captured large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.

The Takfiri terrorist groups have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their advances.