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In Kazakhstan, Iran's Zarif Urges Cooperation Against IS Militants

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has stressed the need for cooperation against Islamic State militants during a visit to Kazakhstan.

Zarif discussed the threat posed by the extremist group in talks with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov in Astana on April 13.

Zarif said the militant group that controls parts of Iraq and Syria has expanded its influence to Afghanistan, which borders three neighbors of Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

Speaking to journalists after their meeting, Zarif and Idrisov said they also discussed bilateral ties, trade, regional security issues, and a planned visit to Iran by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev this year.

Zarif met later with Nazarbaev and thanked him for Kazakhstan's contribution to efforts to end a protracted international dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which Western nations fear is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

Kazakhstan hosted a previous round of negotiations between Iran and six global powers, which on April 2 announced a framework agreement for a deal that would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Nazarbaev said the results achieved so far "give great hopes for the future."

Idrisov said he hopes Iran and the six powers will reach a "comprehensive agreement" by a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Kazinform