Iran and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah over the weekend welcomed the Russia and US-brokered ceasefire in Syria due to take effect Monday.
“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 on Sunday, adding that a monitoring system was needed to stop it being exploited by “terrorists.”
“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 principal backer of Syrian President Bashar 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.”
Earlier the Iranian proxy group Hezbollah, another key backer of Assad, announced its support for the truce deal in a statement published on its official media arm Al-Manar.
The Saturday statement from the terror group cited an unnamed “field commander for Syria operations” who said Hezbollah “stands with the ceasefire.”
“Syria’s allies are completely committed to what the Syrian leadership, government, and security and political forces have decided in terms of the ceasefire,” the statement said.
But it pledged to pursue an “open, relentless war against the terrorists” of the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra Front, which changed its name to Fateh al-Sham Front after renouncing its ties to al-Qaeda.
Hezbollah has dispatched between 5,000 and 8,000 fighters to bolster the beleaguered Syrian army.
The new ceasefire, agreed as part of a landmark deal brokered by Russia and the US, is set to begin on Monday at sundown.
If the truce holds for one week, the US and Russia could start joint operations against jihadists from the Islamic State group and Fateh al-Sham Front.