Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has hailed Iran-Russia cooperation in the fight against Takfiri terrorists in Syria, saying the defeat of the US-led coalition in the Arab country is “an undeniable reality.”
“The defeat of US-led coalition supporting terrorists in Syria is an undeniable reality, but they keep hatching plots,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday.
During the meeting, which lasted over an hour, the Leader stressed the solution of the Syria crisis requires continued cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran-Russia cooperation in battling Takfiri terrorists backed by certain countries has had important outcomes, making Russia an “influential” player in the developments of West Asia.
The Leader noted that the Syrian people are the ultimate decision-makers regarding their country’s issues.
He noted that all issues pertaining to the Damascus government should be solved based on intra-Syrian efforts, and the Syrian government should not be “pressured” into implementing “any plans,” which he said need to be as “comprehensive” as possible.
On the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Leader pointed to the Russian president’s emphasis on the need for compliance with any multilateral agreement and criticized the US for adopting a “rebellious” approach in this regard.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for regional countries to resolve their issues without any foreign interference, saying “Americans seek to interfere in all issues of the region and the world.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader pointed to Saudi’s crimes committed on a daily basis in Yemen and warned that the war could result in Riyadh getting entangled in other deeper crises.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran and Russia could neutralize US sanctions by ditching dollar in bilateral and multilateral trade and using their national currencies instead. The Leader said Iran and Russia should further develop cooperation particularly in economy, saying the economic capacities of the two countries are well beyond the current level.
‘Iran a strategic partner’
The Russian president, for his part, described Iran as “a strategic partner” and a “great neighbor,” stressing that he would welcome any potential to fully bolster and expand bilateral relations.
Putin said Iran and Russia could boost their ties in the sectors of energy, modern technology, agriculture as well as joint oil and gas projects.
Broaching the war in Syria, Putin hailed the achievements of the Iran-Russia cooperation in the war against terrorism, calling for “a suitable political process to be considered in the Arab country.”
Lauding the Leader’s stance on achieving shared objectives in Syria as wise and very effective, the Russian president said, “We proved to the world that we are able to resolve our region’s highly important issues without [any help from] extra-regional countries.”
On the Iran nuclear deal, Putin said that Russia “opposed any unilateral change in the multilateral deal.”
He also said that Russia was against linking Iran’s nuclear program with other issues, including those related to the country’s defensive capabilities.
Separately on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, during which he warned against bids by certain sides to hurt relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and called for further promotion of cooperation in different sectors.
“There are some opposed to close and brotherly relations between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and we should stand up to their temptations and acts of sabotage and boost cooperation in different sectors with double will and motivation,” the Leader said.
Aliyev, for his part, strongly supported his country’s relations with Iran, saying Azerbaijan would not allow any third party to harm its ties with the Islamic Republic.
He said that Azerbaijan was keen to improve cooperation with Iran in different sectors, including culture, energy and transportation.