Putin: Not Up to Russia to Persuade Iran to Leave Syria

Putin: Not Up to Russia to Persuade Iran to Leave Syria
Putin: Not Up to Russia to Persuade Iran to Leave Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected US and Israeli calls for Moscow to persuade Iran to pull its military forces out of Syria, saying it is not what Russia can decide about.
Putin made the statements in an address to the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Thursday, Press TV reported.
Moscow, he said, cannot force Tehran to end its presence in Syria and that a possible withdrawal is an issue between Damascus and Tehran to decide. 
The issue, however, can be discussed among Iran, Syria and the US, with Russia joining the dialogue, he added. 
Putin also said the countries calling for Iran to leave Syria should provide guarantees that they would not meddle in Syria's affairs.
Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, had last week dismissed Israel’s demand that Iran be forced out of Syria, saying it was none of Israel’s business, but Syria’s sovereign right whether to allow Iranian forces on its soil.
“This is a sovereign country led by a legitimate government. It can agree on cooperation with any other country,” Bogdanov noted in an interview with the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS.
“That’s Syria’s sovereign right, and it’s not the business of a third party to intervene in these subjects of politics or policy of a sovereign country,” said Bogdanov, who is also a deputy foreign minister.
At the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has been providing military advisory assistance to the Syrian Army in its operations to eliminate terror groups.

> Chance to Ditch US Dollar
Putin also referred to US sanctions against the companies that engage in trade with Iran, saying the move would spur the creation of payment systems that do not depend on the dollar.
The policy in Washington “undermines trust in the dollar as a universal payment instrument and the main reserve currency”, he added.
Putin said, “We did that not because we wanted to undermine the dollar, but because of sanctions that have been introduced against us.”
Iran, Russia and Turkey have agreed on removing the US dollar from their mutual transactions as part of their efforts to expand trade relations amid Washington’s pressures.
The agreement was made on the sidelines of a key trilateral summit on Syria held in Tehran last month.

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