Iran coordinates military presence in Syria with Russia: Iranian official

Top Iranian General ‘Islamic Army’ in Syria Awaiting Orders to Destroy Israel			Salah Malkawi  Newsmakers  Getty		12 Jul 2018

The Kremlin said Thursday that Putin has met with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but wouldn't offer any details of the talks. As a result of the 2015 nuclear deal, a number of Western energy companies entered the Iranian energy sector.

Velayati arrived for his meeting with Putin carrying two personal messages for the Russian president, one from Khamenei and the other from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that the letters are aimed at "emphasizing the importance of expanded relations between Iran and Russia". Washington says it will reimpose sanctions and has told other countries to halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face United States financial measures.

Velayati cited Russian and Iranian cooperation in Syria, where they both support President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the seven-year Syrian civil war against what the Iranian official called "terrorism and its sponsors".

Velayati is among special envoys that Iran is sending to various countries in response to the United States withdrawal earlier this year from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran has also made moves to align closer with China, with Velayati expected to visit Beijing in the near future, Reuters reports.


Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that Velayati's visit was part of efforts to make Iran's stance clear after the U.S. pullout from the JCPOA signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015. He said Iran and Russian Federation will maintain their military presence in Syria to make sure terrorists will not resurge.

Facing revived sanctions from the United States and the possible knock-on collapse of its business dealings with Europe, Iran is looking to Russian Federation and China for investment and to purchase its oil.

Israel fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that approached the country's border from Syria for the second time this week, the military said Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has received the Iranian leader's top adviser hours after conferring with the Israeli prime minister about Iran's presence in Syria.

Trump and Putin are expected to discuss Iran's regional role and the Syrian conflict at a summit in Helsinki next Monday.

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