Iran’s new foreign minister has warned that the United States and Western powers will set the Middle East “on fire” if they go ahead with an attack on Syria. Mohammad Javad Zarif described the West as an “advocate of war” in his speech during a visit to Iraq. “We are concerned that short-sighted people are beating the drums of war,” said Zarif, “and that this will ignite the whole region.”
The Shia-led government in Baghdad has been committed to a neutral position towards the Syrian conflict and opposes any Western military intervention, believing that it would destabilise Syria’s neighbours, including Iraq, even more.
Zarif was received by his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, and is expected to meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during his stay in Baghdad.