Iran's Leader: Attack on Syria Brings Harm to Entire Region
TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei cautioned on Tuesday any military operation in Northern Syria will definitely harm the entire region and benefit terrorist groups, instead.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Supreme Leader described as “very important” the issue of Syria’s territorial integrity.
"A military attack on Northern Syria would be harmful to Syria, harmful to Turkey and harmful to the region. It would not bring about the political move Turkey expects from the Syrian government either," Ayatollah Khamenei warned.
He stated that fighting terrorism is a must “but a military incursion of Syria will benefit terrorists. Of course, terrorists are not limited to a specific group".
Referring to the Turkish president’s call for Iran’s cooperation in fighting terrorist groups, the Leader stated, “We will definitely cooperate with you in the battle against terror.”
Ayatollah Khamenei added that Iran regards security in Turkey and its border areas as its own and called on Turkey to pursue a similar approach vis-à-vis its neighbor Syria.
“The Syrian issues must be settled through negotiations, and Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia must solve this issue through dialog,” he noted.
Ties between Damascus and Ankara soured after Turkey launched several incursions into Northern Syria. Damascus complaints that the Turkish offensive violates Syria’s territorial integrity. Iranian officials stress Tehran is making efforts to establish peace and resolve problems between Damascus and Ankara.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Supreme Leader stressed the importance of “useful and necessary” cooperation between Iran and Turkey on all regional issues, saying, “We have always defended your government in internal issues and against [instances of] interference and as you have said, we have been each other’s friends in difficult times and we pray for the Muslim nation of Turkey.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to the issue of Palestine and stated that the Israeli regime is one of the main forces driving a wedge among Muslim countries.
"The US and Israeli regime cannot stop the Palestinians’ deep-rooted movement," the Leader added.
He emphasized that the US and the Zionist regime should not be relied upon and stressed, “Today, neither the Zionist regime, nor the US nor others will be able to stop the deep movement of the Palestinians, and the final result will be in the interest of the Palestinian people.”
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that maintenance of the Islamic Ummah’s dignity and honor hinges on overcoming differences and remaining vigilant against divisive policies, and said the usurping Zionist regime, supported by the United States, is one of the factors that sow discord and hostility in the region.
The Leader once again reiterated that Palestine is the first and foremost issue of the Muslim world and emphasized that despite some regional governments’ “inclination” toward Israel, Muslims nations are “deeply against” the occupying regime.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said the volume and quality of economic exchanges and cooperation between Iran and Turkey are much less than the existing capacities, adding, “This issue must be settled in the talks between [the two countries'] presidents.”
The Leader also welcomed the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan but emphasized that the Islamic Republic would oppose any policy on closing the border between Iran and Armenia “because this border is a connection route that has existed for thousands of years".
During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, the Turkish president stressed the importance of reinforcing unity among Muslim nations and promoting solidarity between Tehran and Ankara.
Erdogan said his country has never remained silent in the face of injustice against Iran, and stressed the importance of bolstering bilateral relations in all fields.
"Turkey has always opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran and would continue to support Tehran's legitimate rights as per the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," he added.
The Turkish president noted that Iran and Turkey have been fighting terrorists for many years and said terrorist groups in Syria are supported by the Western countries, including Germany, Britain and particularly the US, who are providing them with weapons.
He stated Turkey pursues a clear stance on Syria's territorial integrity and expects the Arab country's government to start political approaches.