Iran Welcomes Syria Truce Plan, Calls for ‘Comprehensive Monitoring’

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi speaks during a press conference on August 22, 2016 in Tehran. Iran said that Russian raids on Syria from one of its airbases had ended for now, shortly after accusing Moscow of 'showing off' when it revealed the bombing missions. / AFP / ATTA …

TEHRAN (AFP) –  Iran on Sunday welcomed the proposed ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia and the United States, but said a monitoring system was needed to stop it being exploited by “terrorists”.

“Iran welcomes any establishment of a ceasefire in Syria and facilitating of access of all people of this country to humanitarian aid,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi (pictured).

“Given the experience of a few months ago, the ceasefire must be sustainable… and must not be exploited as an opportunity for terrorist groups to revive their power and transfer fighters and weapons,” he added, referring to a truce that collapsed earlier this year.

“The continuation and sustainability of a ceasefire relies on the creation of a comprehensive monitoring mechanism, in particular control of borders in order to stop the dispatch of fresh terrorists, as well as weapons and financial resources for the terrorists,” said Ghasemi.

He said Iran, a principle backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has always called for a political solution to the crisis.

Ghasemi also called for humanitarian aid to reach all parts of Syria “without discrimination… in particular those areas under the control or siege of terrorist groups where less attention has been paid.”

The new ceasefire, agreed as part of a landmark deal brokered by Russia and the US, was set to begin on Monday.

A barrage of air strikes on rebel-held areas in Syria killed scores of people just hours after Assad’s government approved the truce deal on Saturday.