Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria engagement, said that Iran’s role in Syria has contributed greatly to the rise of the ISIS extremist group in the first place in 2013 and 2014, reiterating that his country is working towards the withdrawal of Iranian terrorist militias from Syria.
In remarks to the media in the State Department Press Briefing Room on Wednesday, Jeffrey said that the three goals of US policy in Syria are de-escalation of the conflict, reinvigoration of the political process, and an “enduring defeat” of ISIS.
Jeffrey stressed that an enduring defeat of ISIS cannot be achieved without fundamental change in in Iran’s role in Syria, adding that de-escalation of the conflict “will include all Iranian-commanded forces departing from the entirety of Syria.”
The US official went on to say that the Iranian presence is not in the interest of anyone, hoping that Washington can convince everyone of this. He expressed his belief that sanctions will help force or persuade Iran to scale back their presence in Syria.
Peace would necessitate a fundamental change in the Assad regime, Jeffrey stressed, reiterating calls on Moscow to play its role in influencing the Assad regime to commit to the launch of the UN-led political process.
He underscored that reconstruction funds are not going to flow either from the US or from most of the rest of the international community until the tart of a serious political process.
Jeffrey noted that there would be no funding for reconstruction in Syria from the United States and the West before a serious political process.
The Syrian Coalition earlier urged the active members in the UN Security Council to shoulder their responsibilities towards the criminal Assad regime-Iranian alliance. It called for exerting the necessary pressure to ensure the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions calling for the cessation of violence, the release of detainees, and the initiation of a political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
The United States has re-imposed sanctions on the Iranian regime, which were lifted under the nuclear deal. It also reinforced them by additional sanctions to restrict Iran’s ability to finance its agents in the Middle East and stop its activities in the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)