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IS militants can’t be defeated by air strikes, says Iran FM

THE LEVANT – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit out against the Islamic State group Wednesday as a “dangerous phenomenon,” but warned it could not be defeated by air strikes.

Accusing other nations of having created “a Frankenstein that has come to haunt its creators,” Zarif said at a Washington think-tank that the Islamic militants cannot be “eradicated through aerial bombardments,” nor can they be contained.

Speaking at the Council for Foreign Relations, Zarif again expressed regret that Iran had not been invited to Paris talks to discuss the threat of the Islamic State organization, saying Tehran can play a central role in dealing with the group.

But he dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” US accusations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had turned a blind eye to the group in order to complicate the fight of the moderate Syrian rebels battling to oust his regime.

And Zarif said that Iran did not back foreign military adventures into the region, unless they were invited in by the government.

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