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Israel ‘main source’ of instability in West Asia region: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad shake hands in the capital Tehran on July 31, 2023. (Photo by Tasnim)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian calls the Israeli regime the main source of instability in West Asia, stressing that the region has not been and will not be indifferent to the moves by the occupying entity.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in the capital Tehran on Monday.

The top Iranian diplomat highlighted the Islamic Republic’s constant efforts to achieve “peace, stability and lasting security” in the region, and strongly condemned Israel’s repeated attacks on the Syrian territory.

“This regime is the main source of instability in the region, and finds its supposed survival in [advancing] warmongering in the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

“The fake rulers of the Zionist regime have realized that no action of the Zionists would go unanswered,” he added. “The region has not been and will not be indifferent to the moves of the Zionist regime.”

Amir-Abdollahian underscored the necessity of continuing the Astana talks on the Syrian conflict and said there is consensus among all parties that the format will continue to operate in subsequent meetings at the level of foreign ministers and presidents.

The top Iranian diplomat said the framework of the quadrilateral meetings between Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran as part of the political process to end the Syria conflict was the "most suitable diplomatic path" for the establishment of security on the common borders of Syria and Turkey.

“Iran firmly backs the right of the Syrian people to support the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Amir-Abdollahian said, adding, “We believe that the military presence of foreign countries in Syria will not contribute to stability and security in the country and the region.”

Stressing that Iran fully understands Turkey's concerns about the security of its common borders with Syria, Amir-Abdollahian said, “We, however, believe that military presence in Syria is not the solution.”

The Iranian foreign minister underlined that the immediate withdrawal of the American occupation forces from Syrian territory would be a great contribution to the stability and security of the region.

“The occupying American forces brought about nothing to the region but intensified insecurity in Syria and support for terrorists in [Syria's northwestern province of] Idlib,” he added.

Amir-Abdollahian also underlined the need for the immediate and safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

In a Twitter post later on Monday, Iran's top diplomat said development of all-out relations between Tehran and Baghdad, especially in the fields of politics, trade, energy and science, was the main highlight of his meeting with the Syrian foreign minister.

Amir-Abdollahian added that the two sides also reiterated the need for the American forces to leave the Syrian soil immediately, while urging all countries to respect their neighbors’ territorial integrity.

Syria ‘resolutely’ stands by Palestine

Mekdad, for his part, expressed satisfaction with his visit to Tehran and said the two countries are taking practical steps to further expand their bilateral ties in all fields.

Mekdad censured certain countries in the region for disrupting relations between the states and said Syria “resolutely” stands by the Palestinian people.

He praised the Palestinian nation as “noble” and said, “We condemn the Zionist regime for the crimes it commits, they have martyred around 300 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.”

Stressing that the ongoing developments in Israel are the result of the deep crises the illegal entity is facing, Mekdad said, “The Zionist regime commits various crimes in Palestine, and the countries that support it are also an accomplice in the crimes of that regime.”

Mekdad also said Damascus supports all efforts for the unification between the Arab and Muslim countries, and praised Iran's active diplomacy in that regard.

US presence in Syria ‘illegal’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mekdad pointed to the US crimes in the region and said, “War crimes of the United States will definitely end because the Syrian people will not allow this process to continue.”

Stressing that the US presence in northeastern Syria is “illegal,” he said, “Syria calls for the withdrawal of American forces and the [so-called] international coalition.”

The Syrian diplomat also called on the Arab countries to stop their support for terrorism.

Asked about the rise in the number of American troops in the region, Mekdad said, “The goal of the United States in increasing its forces in Syria is to continue the aggression and looting of Syria, and it is not surprising that the United States supports terrorism.”

Underlining that the US relocates terrorists in the region to achieve its goals, the diplomat said the same situation is true in northern Syria, where the goal is to prevent the resolution of conflicts and to weaken the Syrian government.

“The Syrian government and nation want the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights and taking control of Syria's resources,” he added.

No difference between Daesh, US and Israel

Mekdad also censured hostile measures by certain Western governments to support the US crimes in Syria and the region.

“Almost 300,000 terrorists entered the Syrian territory [since the outbreak of the Syria crisis] but we managed to emerge victorious [in the war] thanks to the resistance front and the brave Syrian army and the faith of the Syrian people,” he said.

He said that the United States’ direct aggression against Syria killed more than 250 Syrian citizens since 2014 when the US-led coalition got involved in the Syria conflict.

Underscoring the need for the withdrawal of foreign occupation forces from Syria, Mekdad said, “A number of countries allied with the evil powers … followed the approach of Daesh.”

Mekdad added, “The forces that entered Syria’s territory will face the resistance of the Syrian people … There is no difference between Daesh, the US and the Zionist regime. We will not forget the crimes against Syria.”

The top diplomat also offered his gratitude to Iran’s leadership, government and nation for their aid to Syria in tough times.

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