Tehran, SANA – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani received on Wednesday Syrian Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem.

During the meeting, Minister al-Moallem relayed congratulations from the Syrian leadership to the Iranian leadership and people for the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1.

The meeting also discussed the situation in the region, the achievements made by the Syrian Arab Army and the Lebanese resistance in their battle against terrorism, and means for bolstering the steadfastness of the Syrian Army.

President Rouhani affirmed Iran’s firm position in support of Syria in fighting terrorism and extremism, asserting Iran’s commitment to boosting relations with Syria in all fields and working together to achieve stability and security in the region and the world.

Al-Moallem also met Chairman of the Iranian Shura Council Ali Larijani and discussed with him the latest developments in Syria and counterterrorism efforts.

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The Minister briefed Larijani on the latest developments on the ground in Syria, saying that the achievements of the Syrian army and people have instilled frustrations in terrorists and those who support them.

Al-Moallem asserted that the resistance axis is growing stronger and that terrorism is faltering before the strikes of the Syrian Arab Army, the popular resistance, and the Lebanese resistance.

He also stressed the need for combining efforts to combat international terrorism, noting that the states that sponsored, harbored, funded, and supported terrorism are now “being burned by its fires.”

For his part, Larijani asserted that Iran will continue to support the Syrian government and people, saying that some states are becoming aware of the mistakes they made and the destructive ramifications of their support for terrorism, asserting that these states must correct their course of action and stop supporting terrorism.

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He also lauded the steadfastness of the Syrian leadership and people and saluted the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army and the resistance in their battle against terrorists, asserting that Syria and the resistance will emerge victorious.

Earlier, during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, Minister al-Moallem reiterated that the priority in Syria is fighting terrorism, stressing that Damascus welcomes every effort in this regard provided that the Syria sovereignty is maintained.

Bilateral relations, the latest developments in the regional and international arenas and the efforts for combating terrorism were discussed during the meeting.

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Al-Moallem reviewed the current events in Syria, affirming that “the priority for us in Syria is fighting terrorism and the Takfiri thinking, and various efforts should be made to dry out its financial sources and to pressure the countries backing and funding it in compliance with the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions.”

He made it clear that Syria is going ahead with fighting terrorism until the entire Syrian territory gets rid of it.

“Syria is fighting terrorism on behalf of the world, and it welcomes any effort that is put in the framework of combating terrorism providing that the national sovereignty is respected,” said al-Moallem.

He added that Syria also welcomes any political initiative that is carried out in coordination with the Syrian government and preserves the national sovereignty without any foreign interference.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, for his part, renewed his country’s supportive stance toward Syria in fighting terrorism.

“We stand by the people and government in Syria and are working with all the friends in this regard,” said Zarif, stressing that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is the political one that is reached by the Syrian people without foreign interference.

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He highlighted the need for continuing consultation and coordination between Tehran and Damascus to foster joint cooperation, particularly in the field of fighting terrorism.

In a statement to the reporters following the talks and in response to a question about the US’s announcement of its intention to provide air support to what it calls “moderate opposition” after a group of those whom the US allowed in Syria came under an attack by Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Moallem said “for us in Syria there is no such thing as moderate or non -moderate opposition. Whoever that takes up arms against the Syrian state is a terrorist.”

“The US contacted us before this group’s entry and said it was for fighting ISIS and not the Syrian army at all, and we said that we were with every effort seeking to fight ISIS, and that should be done through coordination and consultation with the Syrian government, otherwise it would be a violation of the Syrian sovereignty,” al-Moallem added.

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Minister al-Moallem also discussed with Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani issues of mutual interest, particularly counterterrorism efforts.

The two sides asserted the need to continue coordination and consultations between Syria and Iran, with Shamkhani reiterating Iran’s commitment to continuing its support for Syria in its battle against terrorism.

Haifa Said / Hazem Sabbagh

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