August 11, 2022

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FM says Iran strongly opposes possible Turkish military acts in Syria

TEHRAN— Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Saturday that Tehran strongly opposes any possible Turkish military operation in northern Syria.

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks upon his arrival in Damascus on Saturday morning for consultation with the top Syrian officials on the latest regional and international developments.

The comments by the Iranian foreign minister came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced after a cabinet meeting on June 27 that Turkey would start new military operations as soon as preparations on Syrian border were completed.

“We are entering a new phase of our decision to establish safe zone 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep south (of the Turkish-Syrian border). We are clearing Tel Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists,” TRT World quoted Erdogan as saying.

Talking to reporters before departing for Damascus, Amir Abdollahian said, “In continuation of my trip to Turkey four days ago, it is necessary to have consultations with the Syrian officials.”

The foreign minister added that developments are taking place in the region, and the foreign ministry must try to ensure that Iran, as always, is playing a constructive role in the region and is trying to prevent the emergence of a new crisis in the region.

Amir Abdollahian then pointed out, “Part of my trip to Syria is done with the aim of establishing peace and security in the region between Syria and Turkey, as two countries which have important relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He then noted that another part of his trip is to pursue bilateral relations and consult with Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as the Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad. and other high-ranking Syrian officials regarding various issues at the regional and international level.

Upon his arrival, the foreign minister was welcomed by his Syrian counterpart. Immediately after landing in Damascus, Amir Abdollahian condemned the Saturday morning raid in Tartous by the Israeli regime. 

“Iran condemns the Zionist aggression this morning on south of Tartous. The Zionist regime is trying to show Damascus as an unsafe city with its attacks in order to obstruct the return of the Syrian immigrants,” the top Iranian diplomat said. 

Two civilians were injured in an Israeli missile aggression on a number of poultry farms in the vicinity of Hamidiya town, south of Tartous, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported Saturday. 

“Nearly at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, the Israeli enemy carried out an air missile aggression from over the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Lebanese city of Tripoli, targeting several poultry farms in the vicinity of Hamidiya town, south of Tartous,” a military source told SANA.

The source added that the Israeli aggression injured two civilians, including a woman, and caused some material damages.

Amir Abdollahian continued, “The recent visit of President Bashar Assad to Iran is a turning point in the relations between the two countries, and we have entered a new phase in all fields.”

For his part, Mekdad said, “We stand by Iran in its vigorous follow-up to the nuclear talks, and we support its position in this field.”

On June 27, Amir Abdollahian paid a visit to Ankara to discuss the recent regional and international developments with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

“We clearly gave voice to our sensitivity and considerations about the Zionist regime’s moves and the fact that wherever they went, they have been source of crisis and insecurity,” the foreign minister said after meeting Cavusoglu. 

The two top diplomats also discussed developments surrounding Syria within the Astana process. 

In line with outlining Tehran’s position for Cavusoglu, Amir Abdollahian also reiterated Iran’s principled position for a political solution to the Syrian crisis and that it is necessary to avoid any military action in the country, underlining Tehran’s readiness to facilitate talks to reduce security concerns on Syria.


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