A senior advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Friday that his country will not withdraw its "military advisors" from Syria and Iraq under Israeli pressure, Arab48.com has reported. Ali Akbar Velayati insisted that Iran will only leave if the regime in Damascus asks it to go.
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Velayati revealed that the Iranians and Russians are going to remain in Syria and Iraq to protect both countries from terrorist groups, as well as from US aggression. Tehran, he pointed out, coordinates its presence in Syria with Moscow and Damascus.
"The US wants to divide Iraq into three parts and Syria into five," Velayati explained. "We will deal with the American presence from Syria to Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and north Africa." He added that Russia will withdraw from Syria the moment that Iran does.
Velayati's visit to Moscow came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Syria and relations with Iran. According to Ynet News, Netanyahu told Putin that, "Israel will thwart any attempt to violate its sovereignty both in the air and on land."