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July 13, 2018 7:34 am

Khamenei Adviser: Iran Coordinates Military Presence in Syria With Russia

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, July 12, 2018. Photo: Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Kremlin via Reuters.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Friday that Tehran coordinates positions on its military presence in Syria with Moscow and Damascus.

He made his comments at a conference in Moscow, in response to a question about whether Iran might withdraw its forces from Syria’s southern border region, near Israel.

According to Velayati, Iran would immediately withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.

“Iran and Russia’s presence in Syria will continue to protect the country against terrorist groups and America’s aggression … We will immediately leave if Iraqi and Syrian governments want it, not because of Israel and America’s pressure,” Velayati stated.

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Velayati also said that US sanctions against Iran could raise oil prices and harm oil consumers.

On Thursday, Velayati — who is wanted by Argentina over his role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires — met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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