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July 22, 2015 4:20 pm

Top Khamenei Adviser Says Iran Boosting Support for Mideast Proxies

avatar by David Daoud

Ali Akbar Velayati (pictured above), Ali Khamenei's advisor on international affairs, said that Iran would continue arming its regional allies. PHOTO: Mehr News Agency.

Ali Akbar Velayati (pictured above), Ali Khamenei’s advisor on international affairs, said that Iran would continue arming its regional allies. PHOTO: Mehr News Agency.

A senior foreign affairs adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran is boosting its support for its regional allies and its proxies within other countries, Saudi-based Al Arabiya reported on Wednesday.

Ali Akbar Velayati reaffirmed Tehran’s support for allied groups in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, according to Iranian state media. He also stressed that Iran has refused to negotiate with the U.S. over the ongoing wars in the region.

Velayati said the recently concluded negotiations with the U.S. were limited to Iran’s nuclear program, and that the “door was closed” to discussing other areas of conflict.

Though, according to the report, the U.S. wanted to discuss the wars in Syria and Yemen with Iran — whose proxies are protecting the government in the former and battling the U.S.-backed government in the other — Khamenei had refused.

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Velayati’s comments echoed those of Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi, who said on Tuesday that Iran would continue to supply its allies with weapons. He added that the P5+1 countries that negotiated the nuclear deal are also aware of this fact.

Iran will do anything necessary to safeguard its national security, said Aragchi, adding that Tehran “will take any necessary action to maintain and expand our defensive capabilities, safeguard our independence and sovereignty and help our regional allies fight terrorism.”

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