EU wants Iran to play ‘major but positive role’ in Syria/Born in Israel, terrorists for Hezbollah

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EU wants Iran to play ‘major but positive role’ in Syria
Ynetnews/Published: 04.29.15 / Israel News 

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says nuclear deal can help Iran become a ‘postive force’ in region, help ‘encourage the regime to (support) a Syrian-led transition.’The European Union’s top diplomat on Tuesday voiced the hope that Iran would play an important but constructive role in a renewed United Nations push to restart negotiations aimed at ending the four-year civil war in Syria. The UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has said he will begin meeting in May with the country’s government, opposition groups and regional powers including Iran to assess by the end of June whether there is any hope brokering an end to the war.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who meets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later in New York on Tuesday, said it was crucial that the EU and six world powers successfully conclude nuclear talks with Tehran, which she said could boost Iran’s regional role in a positive manner. “The best possible approach you can have is … on one side have a positive outcome of the nuclear talks so that we can be sure that they cannot develop a nuclear weapon,” she said. “On the other side, call for Iran to play a major, major but positive, role on Syria in particular, to encourage the regime to … (support) a Syrian-led transition,” she said, referring to a 2012 UN plan for a political transition in Syria that has yet to be translated into reality.  The deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran is June 30. Iran and the six powers reached a tentative deal on April 2.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked de Mistura earlier this month to “focus much more to re-launch a political process” after his attempt to broker a local truce in Aleppo failed to materialize. The United States and some Arab countries have resisted the inclusion of Iran in Syrian peace talks, because they see Tehran as the problem, not the solution. Iran has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a staunch ally. Mogherini suggested that including Iran was crucial. “I understand very well the concerns of many Arab countries, not only Arab countries, in the region on the role of Iran,” she said. “But I am also convinced that it would be naive to imagine that a country like Iran could simply disappear from the map.”Mogherini will also meet US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Wednesday. She said she will discuss disagreements on sanctions and other sticking points in the nuclear talks with both Zarif and Kerry.

Born in Israel, terrorists for Hezbollah
Yossi Yehoshua/Ynetnews/Published: 04.29.15/ Israel News

Two terrorists killed by IDF troops while laying out explosives on Syrian border were brothers from the Druze town of Majdal Shams on Israeli side of Golan Heights. Two of the four terrorists killed by Israel Defense Forces troops on the Syrian border on Sunday were brothers from the Druze town of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. Tair Mahmoud, 34, and his 22-year-old sibling Nazih were born in Majdal Shams, but later moved to the village of Hader on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. The brothers had been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. They were killed laying explosives to target IDF troops – a move thought to have been the handiwork of Hezbollah. A Lebanese news site reported the four were part of the Syrian Resistance organization formed in the area and trained by Hezbollah.

“They lived just across the border. We would see them when they’d come out to hang the washing,” their aunt, Sahar Mahmoud, who lives in Majdal Shams, said Monday. “I find it hard to believe that they were really trying to lay an explosive device as it’s been claimed, and it’s very difficult for me to hear that they were killed. Nazih was supposed to be getting married on Friday and was counting the days. Who goes out to plant explosive devices before his wedding?” Upon receiving the news about the brothers’ deaths, family members in Majdal Shams set up a mourners’ tent in the town, with some relatives describing the two as “martyrs” and “heroes.”

Majdal Shams Mayor Dolan Abu Saleh, however, strongly condemned the establishment of the tent, noting: “It’s absurd. While the IDF busies itself with the defense of the Golan Heights and the residents of the town, there are those who are spitting into the well from which they drink.” The spiritual leader of the Druze community, Sheikh Muwaffak Tarif, also issued a statement of condemnation on Monday. “What matters to us is the existence of the State of Israel and its security,” the statement read. “These Druze do not represent any Druze in the country, and the vast majority in the Golan do not support such criminal acts.”