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Diplomat sees nothing unexpected in development of Iran-Russia military ties

August 17, 2016, 17:16 UTC+3 TEHRAN

A diplomat stresses the presence of Iran and Russia in Syria is legitimate

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© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

TEHRAN, August 17. /TASS/. There is nothing unexpected in the development of military cooperation between Iran and Russia on fight against terrorism, the foreign policy adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.

"Iran considers its relations with Russia strategic. The development of our cooperation in political and economic spheres, as well as in the military sphere is quite natural. There is nothing unexpected about it," Ali Akbar Velayati said.

He dismissed comments from the US regarding Iranian-Russian cooperation on fight against terrorism as subjective, made through the spectacle of "American interest".

"Iran rejects these comments. The Islamic Republic lends assistance both to Syria and to Iraq in accordance with international rules," he went on.

"The presence of Iran and Russia in Syria is legitimate, as it is based on an official request from the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, while the presence of the US in that country is not legitimate" noted the influential politician, who was Iran’s foreign minister from 1981 to 1997, and now leads the Iranian Center for Strategic Research.

Russia’s air and space force for the first time used Iran’s Hamadan airdrome to attack terrorists in Syria on August 16. Sukhoi-34 and long-range Tupolev-22M3 bombers participated in the raid. They hit facilities of terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia) in Syria’s provinces Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib.

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