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Why Iran welcomes US-Russian deal on Syria

Despite speculation that Russia's dealings with the United States might be at the expense of Iran, it appears that Tehran has plenty of reasons to welcome Moscow and Washington’s agreement on Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands at the conclusion of their press conference following their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland where they discussed the crisis in Syria September 9, 2016.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSN25I

TEHRAN, Iran — Lengthy negotiations between the United States and Russia appear to have finally paid off when they reached a deal on a cease-fire in Syria announced Sept. 10. If the truce — the cessation of all air and ground attacks by all parties for one week — is adhered to by both sides, the United States and Russia plan to subsequently establish a joint implementation center to coordinate intelligence and airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra.

The interests of Iran, as one of the key players involved in the complex and multi-dimensional conflict in Syria, will certainly be affected by the US-Russian agreement, like those of other actors. Indeed, while Iranian officials have formally welcomed the truce, they have also warned that it should not serve as an opportunity for militants to regroup and transfer fighters and arms.

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