TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Helping Syria to weather the crisis and fight against terrorism is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategic decision, an Iranian deputy foreign minister underlined.

In a meeting with Syria’s visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Tehran on Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari assured Syria of the Islamic Republic’s continued support in the battle against terrorism, describing it as a strategic decision made by Tehran.

He also deplored certain regional and international players for using terrorism as a means to achieve their political objectives.

Mekdad, for his part, described counterterrorism efforts as a necessity for regional cooperation, and took a swipe at the West for lack of seriousness in fighting off the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

In the meantime, Iran and Russia have remained close allies of Syria and support its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.

Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.