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Adviser comments on Iran’s presence in Syria

July 13, 2018, 12:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Iran’s presence in Syria has no relation to Israel, says Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's top adviser

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MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Tehran is coordinating with Damascus and Moscow the issue of its presence in Syria this Friday, which does not concern Israel, said Ali Akbar Velayati, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's top adviser on international affairs, at the Valdai Discussion Club on Friday.

"Our presence in Syria has no relation to Israel," he said. "We, of course, are coordinating our positions with Russia and Syria. This coordination does not have to correspond to Israel’s demands."

Iran is determined to counter the United States in the Middle East and will render assistance to Syria in the event of aggression, the adviser said. 

"We will counter the Americans powerfully," he said. "We will help Syria counter the US aggression."

"If the US does not want to leave our region, we will force it to do that," Velayati added.

Iranian military advisers will leave Syria and Iraq as soon as the governments of those countries ask Tehran to do so. He stressed that Iran’s military advisers are in Iraq and Syria at the request of those countries’ governments. "When they say they no longer need our military advisers, Iran will not hesitate to leave [those countries]," he noted.

In his view, if Russia and Iran withdraw from Syria, "terrorists will come there." "Once Iran’s and Russia’s support for the Syrian government weakens, terrorists will return there immediately," he stressed.

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