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US envoy says Iran uses Syria to threaten regional neighbors

Joel Rayburn

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn has indicated a consensus between Washington, the European Union and the Arab world on pressuring Iran to stop using Syria as a platform to threaten regional neighbors.

In remarks to the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya from Jordan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Rayburn said “the Iranian regime is absolutely isolated on this question, that idea that the Iranian regime would use Syria in order to establish power projection platforms that it can use to threaten Syria’s neighbors in an unprecedentedly destabilizing way.”

He went on saying that “this is something the entire international community rejects. It is something that the US, the European Union countries and the Arab world are all in agreement about using the tool at our disposals, such as economic and political pressure tools and political isolation to try to push back on.”

Regarding the reported crimes committed by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad regime in its own prisons, Rayburn said that leaked photos showed something that looked “straight out of the Nazi death camps.”

Moreover, he added that “the documentary evidence and photos of the incredible atrocities that the Assad regime was carrying out in its prisons in particular, (was) something that looked straight out of the Nazi death camps from the Second World War.”

“There’s a quite well-defined roadmap that we can follow in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 which lays out a political process that can result in differently-constituted government and all of the milestones are built-in and well-defined. It has international buy-in already from the Security Council and from abroad, swathes of the international community,” he said.

In previous remarks on the efforts in Syria and Iraq after the defeat of ISIS, Rayburn said that while the US-led coalition was successful in destroying the physical caliphate of ISIS, he admitted that it was not the end of ISIS.

“There has to be a follow-up phase to keep the pressure on Daesh to help stabilize local communities so that there is no room for Daesh to make a resurgence and return, which we’ve seen their predecessors do in the past,” he said while using the Arabic acronym of ISIS.

Last Modified: Tuesday، 09 April 2019 03:24 PM