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November 16, 2015 3:24 pm

Report: Iran Considers Russian Operations in Syria Threat to Islamic Republic’s National Security

avatar by David Daoud

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Russian President Valdimir Putin speaks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone. Photo: Screenshot / PressTV.

Russian President Valdimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Screenshot / PressTV.

An Iranian official purportedly said that Russian involvement in Syria now poses a national-security threat to Iran, the Saudi-owned daily Al Arabiya reported on Monday.

According to the report, Iranian student news agency ISNA quoted Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi as saying in a press conference that the “pressure of Russian military operations in Syria has pushed our enemies into doubling their efforts to destabilize Iran’s security.”

Disagreements between Iran and Russia began surfacing recently, with Tehran feeling that Moscow has begun sidelining its role in Syria, particularly with respect to the fate of the Assad regime and future of Iranian influence in the country.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad is one of Iran’s most important regional proxies, not least because his country acts as a link between Tehran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Accordingly, Iran has thrown its weight and that of its proxies behind Assad in the Syrian civil war to ensure the dictator’s survival.

In related news, Israeli news site Walla reported it was informed by Israeli officials that Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Assad with an ultimatum during a meeting between the two leaders on October 20 in Moscow: either he gives up his presidential powers in favor of the establishment of a transitional government in Damascus, or Russia will cease providing him with aid.

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