Iran, France ready to boost cooperation in fighting terrorism

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

The Iranian and French presidents have reaffirmed their countries’ determination to strengthen cooperation in fighting terrorism after Tehran was hit by double terror attacks, the first claimed by the Daesh Takfiri outfit in the Islamic Republic.

In a Wednesday telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Emmanuel Macron expressed condolences over the deaths of over a dozen Iranian citizens in the recent terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital.

He voiced Paris’ preparedness to expand its cooperation with Tehran in countering terrorism and in other areas of common interest.

Rouhani stressed that the deadly attack has strengthened Iran’s resolve to continue its campaign against terrorism, saying, “The Iranian government is prepared to firmly stand against terrorism and fight against it along with the French government and other European governments.”

Earlier on Wednesday, gunmen stormed Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) and the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini in two coordinated attacks.

Thirteen people lost their lives and 43 more were wounded in the assaults, which involved gunfight and blasts.

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Rouhani said the “enemies of democracy” launched the terrorist attack following the high turnout of the Iranian nation in the country’s recent election, “Democracy and the people’s presence on the scene in different areas is the biggest movement, which can stand against terrorism.”

Iranian security forces help people escape the scene of a terrorist attack at the Iranian parliament in downtown Tehran on June 7, 2017. (Photo by Fars news agency)

The Iranian president further called for the eradication of the ideological roots of terrorism in order to effectively fight the scourge, adding, “We should not allow the sponsors of terrorism in the global arena to continue their support for terrorists.”

He referred to the diplomatic crisis unfolding in the Persian Gulf region and stressed that political negotiation is the best solution to resolve the existing disputes.

Rouhani and Macron also expressed the two countries’ keenness to expand their cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

France’s mediation in Qatar dispute

On Wednesday, Macron’s office issued a statement saying the French president has discussed the Qatar crisis with the Iranian president and in separate telephone conversations with leaders of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey, inviting “all parties to pursue dialogue.”

Macron stressed the need “to maintain stability in the region” and to keep up the fight “against terrorism and the financing of all terrorist movements.”

Macron’s office noted that the French president will continue his mediation in coming days.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies, including Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, broke off relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.

They also suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, ejected its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries.

A French presidency spokesman said Macron would continue his mediation in coming days.

Iran has urged Qatar and its neighboring countries in the Persian Gulf to resolve their disputes through diplomacy and explicit dialog.

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