Iran will stay in Syria as long as it is needed, the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

Ghasemi made the remarks while responding to a question about statements by Russian presidential envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev on necessity for withdraw of foreign troops including Iranian forces and Hezbollah militia from Syria.

“As long as it is needed, terrorism threat is not eliminated and the Syrian government’s help request continues Iran will remain in Syria,” Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran May 21.

Lavrentiev has confirmed that President Vladimir Puttin’s remarks on the need to withdraw foreign troops from Syria had implied Iranian forces and Hezbollah militia fighters as well as Turkish and American troops.

He stressed that Putin’s statement on this issue represents a “political message”, but added “not to view it as the beginning of a withdrawal process of foreign troops from Syria.”

Meanwhile Ghasemi said that Iran is an independent country, which makes decisions based on its regional and global interests.

While responding a question about possibility of forcing Iran by Russia to leave Syria, Ghasemi said that no one can force Iran.

Iran is in Syria over the invitation of the Syrian government to fight terrorism, Gasemi said, adding that the forces which should exit Syria are those who, have entered the country without permission of the Syrian government and have violated its territorial integrity.

Tehran has always expressed support for the Syrian government since it sees President Bashar Assad’s regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as a part of the “axis of resistance” against Israel.

Iranian officials refer to their regional alliance with Lebanese group Hezbollah and Syrian government against Israel as “resistance movement,” or ‎”axis of resistance” ‎

Source » trend