Working With Russia to Fight Terror

Working With Russia to Fight Terror   Working With Russia to Fight Terror

An advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution says there is collaboration and consultation between Iran and Russia to mount an anti-terror campaign against the so-called Islamic State militant group operating in Syria and Iraq.

Ali Akbar Velayati, head of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council, made the remark in an interview with Al-Alam news network on Sunday.

Underscoring the fact that Iran, Russia and Iraq are Syria's friends and allies, the senior adviser on international affairs believes that the foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country, which has been raging since March 2011, has been aimed at breaking the anti-Israel resistance front.  According to Velayati, Syria is the "backbone of resistance" and its collapse would be a great victory for Israel's backers, the reason behind fierce attacks against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which have failed to dislodge him.

"We do not conceal the fact that we are in consultation with Russia, Syria and Iraq to prevent the realization of the illegitimate goals of those who seek to topple the Syrian government," Velayati asserted.  On September 30, Russia started its air campaign against insurgents in Syria upon a request by the Damascus government, after Russia's upper house of parliament granted President Vladimir Putin authorization to use military force in the Arab country.

Asked about the possibility of carrying out the same military operations in Iraq, the former foreign minister said, "It all depends on Iraq. As far as I am concerned Russians will not refuse to help them in case they call for it." In addition, Velayati said, "Whatever peace plan which is not approved by President Assad will be definitely rejected by Iran as well," reiterating that there is no replacement for Assad's government unless the alternative could act in keeping with the causes of resistance movements and reflect "the Syrians' desire for unity."