Tehran Steadfast in Supporting Allies

Tehran Steadfast in Supporting AlliesTehran Steadfast in Supporting Allies

A senior official said Iran will not stop backing regional friends, including Syria, Iraq and the resistance groups in Lebanon and Palestine.

"Iranian forces are being martyred in Syria and if necessary, they would put their life in danger in Lebanon and Iraq," advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, said in an interview with the Lebanese daily As Safir, IRNA reported.

"With the help of Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraq, we bolstered support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thwarting the US plots in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq," he said.

Velayati, who is also the head of Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council, added that Americans had plans to disintegrate Syria into five countries, while dreaming about Iraq's fragmentation into three states. The veteran diplomat said Iran stood up to these conspiracies and if it had not done so, the Islamic State militant group would have overtaken the capitals of Iraq and Syria.

"If we had not helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad … Damascus would have fallen by now and Syria's situation would have been far worse than Libya," he said.

Asked about the current situation in Syria, the former foreign minister said the country is stronger than ever and it is moving forward. Syrian forces have recently been making rapid advances against terrorists in several parts of the country, while they managed to break through the IS siege of the Kweyris military airport in northern Aleppo province two weeks ago.

On Iraq, Velayati said that although there are obstacles, it will ultimately defeat terrorists, adding that the outcome of the battle in Syria would affect Iraq.

"Despite facing years of sanctions aimed at forming an economic blockade, Iran is now a powerful country no one dares to attack," he said.  "Iran's power is what made westerners seek its cooperation in various fields. It is not exaggerated to say Iran is the backbone of the region."