Khamenei Adviser: Iran Coordinates Military Presence in Syria With Russia
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.
Iran and Russia back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war.
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.