Iran’s Velayati Highlights Russia’s Unwavering Support for Syria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran's Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati rejected claims that Russia’s support for Syria has faded, saying that Moscow is still adhered to its commitments to back “the legitimate government” of the Arab country.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, Velayati pointed to his recent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying in the talks, Putin has emphasized that he is committed to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“Up to now, I have had five meetings with Mr. Putin and I never saw his hesitation in supporting the legitimate government of Syria,” he noted.
However, Velayati, who is also a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, went on to say that regardless of other countries’ stances toward the Syrian crisis, the Islamic of Iran regards Assad and his government as a “red line”.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.
According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
In the meantime, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.
Earlier in June 2015, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hailed the resistance of the Syrian government and people against foreign-backed terrorist groups in the Arab country, saying that Tehran is determined to side with Damascus to the end of the crisis.