The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says the illegal presence of US occupying forces in Syria is the most important barrier to the establishment of peace and security in the war-torn country.
Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with the visiting director of Syria’s General Security Directorate Major General Ali Mamlouk, during which the two sides discussed bilateral relations as well as major regional and international developments.
During the meeting, Shamkhani said the United States plays a destructive role in the world by creating regional and global crises in order to dominate other countries and plunder their resources.
“Pursuing the same goal, the US presence in Syria is the biggest obstacle to achieving peace and stability in the country today,” he said.
Since 2011, Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed insurgency that gave rise to Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist groups in the Arab country.
The Damascus government has received advisory support from the Islamic Republic, which enabled the country to defeat the terrorists and reverse their advances.
In the meantime, the US military has stationed its forces in eastern and northeastern Syria without the Damascus government’s consent, with the purported objective of preventing the oil fields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Shamkhani referred to US forces’ intensified movements in Syria with the intention of arming, training, and guiding terrorist groups, saying the continuation of such a trend not only disrupts the security of Syria, but also threatens security of the entire region.
“Fomenting terrorism, creating insecurity, and causing ethnic changes with secessionist goals are among major strategies used by the world hegemonic system in Syria,” Shamkhani said, adding, “Unfortunately, some neighboring countries of Syria play the game of the enemies of regional stability and security.”
The top Iranian security official maintained that the way to counter such evil conspiracies is to preserve national unity and spirit as well as resistance.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to stand by the Syrian people and government, as it stood by [them] in the most difficult circumstances and at the height of the wickedness of terrorist groups and their supporters,” he added.
Mamlouk, for his part, appreciated the Islamic Republic’s support for his country in its fight against terrorism and the sedition engendered by the US and its minions.
He underscored the necessity of the continuation of Tehran-Damascus cooperation.
Referring to the significant economic opportunities for bilateral cooperation in various fields, Mamlouk added: “The presence of Iranian companies and businesspeople in Syria and the continuation of joint cooperation in economic and trade sectors provide lasting benefits for both countries.”
Tehran is slated to be a major party in Syria’s reconstruction in the aftermath of the conflict, as both countries look forward to a new era of economic relations.
Last month, Rostam Qassemi, Iran’s minister of roads and urban development, met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, where the two sides exchanged ways on ways to optimize bilateral economic and trade ties.
“The end of the war in Syria is the beginning of a new era of economic relations between the two countries, especially given that Iran and Syria have been beside one another throughout the era of fighting international terrorism,” Qassemi said upon arriving in Damascus on January 12.