Iran Says It’s Not Leaving Syria Despite US Pressure

Joseph Lafave Contributor
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Iran will continue to operate inside Syria, despite intense pressure from both the United States and Israel.

According to the Associated Press, Ali Akbar Velayati, a representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, made the announcement on Friday while delivering remarks during a meeting in Moscow.

Velayati’s declaration comes just days before a meeting between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin scheduled for next week in Helsinki, Finland. The topic of the Iranian involvement in Syria is likely to be discussed between the two leaders.

“We have come there without the Americans’ permission and we won’t heed their demands to leave,” Velyati said. He also warned Russian leaders that the United States may be trying to break up the alliance between the two countries.

Currently, Iranian forces have set up positions along with the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights region, a move that has angered the Israelis.

On Thursday Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his concerns over the Iranians involvement in the Syria civil war during a meeting with Putin, stating that “Israel wants Iran to leave Syria,” according to the AP.

According to the AP, a possible compromise may be the replacement of Iranian forces with Syrian army units.

Velayati, however, made no mention of any type of concession. “We coordinate the Iranian presence in Syria with Russia and Syria,” he said during the meeting. He also stated that Iran “will be present there the way we consider necessary. Sometimes we will play our role in Syria open-handed, sometimes we will do it with our hands hidden.”