Putin hosts aide to Iran's supreme leader amid Syria talks

14 July, 2018, 14:19 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Top Iranian General ‘Islamic Army’ in Syria Awaiting Orders to Destroy Israel			Salah Malkawi  Newsmakers  Getty		12 Jul 2018

A top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hailed his country's "strategic relationship" with Russian Federation on Wednesday during a visit to Moscow, part of a diplomatic offensive by Tehran as it braces for renewed USA sanctions.

"Mr. Putin [the Russian president] said that he will travel to Tehran soon to attend the summit on Syria", Velayati told IRIB after his meeting with the Russian president in Moscow.

"Putin reiterated that Russian Federation rejects America's decision to impose sanctions on Iran ..." Washington has since made a concerted global effort to stop its western allies importing Iranian oil.

Arman Daily quoted Ali Bigdeli, an Iranian specialist on foreign affairs, as saying: "With Russian prompting, Iran is being forced to make a decision in Syria, and this decision must be arrived at through negotiations".

The Kremlin said Putin and Velayati discussed the situation in Syria and bilateral relations and Velayati had given Putin messages from Khamenei and from Iran's president Hassan Rouhani.

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad overcomes one of the last bastions of a 2011 uprising backed by the West, Turkey and Gulf Arab states, neighboring Israel has increasingly warned against perceived violations of the 1974 non-aggression pact between the two warring governments under the auspices of the United Nations.

"Only a strategic and long-term relationship (with Russia) can continue this cooperation", said Velayati, who was also due to meet Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow.

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Iran has also made moves to align closer with China, with Velayati expected to visit Beijing in the near future, Reuters reports. In reaction to recent remarks by US President Donald Trump, Velayati said Tehran is not willing to negotiate with Washington.

"Qassemi said after Trump's "strategic mistake" to exit the multilateral and worldwide accord, Iran chose to dispatch a number of its special representatives" to other countries to "carry messages of high-ranking" Iranian officials about the country's viewpoints and stance on the "selfish" U.S. behavior which runs counter to global regulations. However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 10 that Washington would consider requests from some countries to be exempted from sanctions it will put in effect in November 4. They say Trump, unhappy with what his predecessor Barack Obama had done, is willing to strike a deal with Iran with his own record and that is why he exited the US from the 2015 nuclear deal.

But European firms are reluctant to risk far-reaching U.S. financial penalties they would face for doing business in Iran.

The Israeli military released a similar statement on Wednesday and shared a video of what appeared to be a Patriot missile destroying a drone flying over northern Israel.

"Abdullahiyan was dismissed by [Foreign Minister] Javad Zarif, yet he continues to say that Iranian military advisors will remain in Syria", Zibakalam said.

Amir-Abollahian said Netanyahu was likely to ask for Putin's help to push Iran's military advisers out of Syria but added that this was an issue that could only be decided between Tehran and Damascus.

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