September 25, 2023

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Iran sees new steps to strengthen Syria ties

TEHRAN – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi praised his May meeting with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus as a “big victory” for the resistance front, anticipating that the two partners will take additional steps to improve their relations.

The Iranian president made the remarks on Tuesday at a meeting with a group of three visiting Syrian ministers led by the country’s Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad.

Raisi also praised the Syrian government and people for their perseverance and resistance against outright sedition and terrorism over the past 12 years.

The president was alluding to Syrians’ effective struggle against ferocious terrorism and foreign-backed militancy that first started in the Arab country in 2011.

Raisi said the meeting between him and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on May 3 sent a strong message and marked a major victory by the resistance front in the region. 

It was the first visit by an Iranian president to Damascus since the start of the foreign-backed violence in Syria.

The Iranian president stressed the importance of “complete implementation” of the agreements reached during his visit, particularly those pertaining to the economic and trade areas. 

“I hope that in near future, we get to witness the implementation of the next steps towards further development of the ties.”

For his part, Mekdad said his visit alongside his fellow Syrian ministers had taken place on President Assad’s initiative to emphasize the depth of the strategic relations between Syria and Iran.

The Syrian chief diplomat went on to say that the resistance front, led by the Islamic Republic, has demonstrated its ability to thwart any scheme that would be hatched against it in the region. 

“U.S. fabricates crises to maintain military presence in Syria”

Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad also met on Tuesday with Ali Akbar Ahmadian, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), during which the two parties shared opinions about the most recent events in West Asia, particularly in Syria.

Ahmadian said the United States is trying to extend its illegitimate military presence in Syria by inciting “fabricated” issues inside the Arab country.

“The enemies of Syria, who failed to advance their policy in the 2011 war, are again trying to challenge the political stability in this country through such desperate bids in order to undermine public security in Syria,” the SNSC chief noted.

The senior Iranian security official said that schemes by the Western-Zionist think tanks were totally foiled due to the resilience of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian government and people, as well as the support given by the resistance front.

Ahmadian commended Syria’s recent moves in strengthening diplomatic ties with neighboring nations and called it as a significant step towards settling disputes amongst Muslim nations. Such a policy, he said, would create a situation to reduce interference by foreigners in the region.

“In order to disrupt the new de-escalation process in the region, Washington is trying to create fabricated crises in Syria through military campaigns and controlled conflicts,” the top security official remarked, adding Washington is “continuing to portray itself as an important and influential actor in Syria to prolong its illegal and illegitimate presence.” 

Mekdad, for his part, said that the unlawful U.S. military presence in Syria is a violation of his country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. 

“The U.S. is seeking to revive terrorist cells to prevent the establishment of lasting stability in Syria,” the top Syrian diplomat noted.

He also described repeated military assaults by the Zionist regime against targets inside Syria as “provocative”, “acts of mischief” and true instance of “state terrorism”.

Mekdad added, “Terrorism, military aggression and cruel sanctions cannot dent the will of the Syrian nation to resist the coercion and excessive demands of the enemies.” 

Velayati applauds Assad’s record in resistance against foes

Ali Akbar Velayati, the top advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution on international affairs, also praised the Syrian president for playing a “decisive” part in the Arab nation’s tenacity in the face of adversaries.

Tuesday in Tehran, Velayati met with Mekdad and praised Syria as “a symbol of resistance” against ongoing aggression by Israel and its U.S.-led allies.

“Syria is a symbol of resistance, and its president’s decisive role has contributed to the dignity of the Syrian Arab Republic in the face of attacks by the Zionists and their U.S.-led supporters,” Velayati said in a separate meeting with Foreign Minister Mekdad on Tuesday. 

Velayati also said, “Through unity the resistance front has been able to foil the enemies’ plots and their sinister objectives and score many victories. Undoubtedly, it will also achieve more success.”

For his part, the top Syrian diplomat commended Iran’s unwavering support for both Syria and the resistance front.

“Despite all challenges and problems, we still feel strong thanks to the friendship with the Islamic Republic and are always proud of Iran’s friendship and support,” he added.

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