President Rouhani promises ongoing Iranian support, essential for survival of Syria’s President Assad
President Hassan Rouhani has issued another proclamation of Iran’s resolve to intervene behind Syria’s Assad regime.
“Iran’s support for the Syrian people will last until ultimate victory,” Rouhani told Syrian MP Hadiya Khalaf Abbas in Tehran on Wednesday.
He declared that “Iran will stand by the Syrian people against terrorism and support the…talks” between Damascus and opposition groups, which began in Geneva yesterday.
Rouhani then hailed the military operations — including Russia, Hezbollah, and Iranian-led foreign militias as well as Iranian commmanders and troops — which have taken territory such as the opposition portion of Syria’s largest city Aleppo. He said, “The gains have even worked to positively affect foreign governments’ view of the developments in Syria, adding that they now feel that they must accept the realities on the ground in the Arab state.”
The pro-Assad attacks have continued despite a nominal ceasefire proclaimed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran at the end of December. Opposition activists say Iranian forces continue bot be involved in the assaults.
Rouhani met Abbas on the sidelines of a conference proclaiming support for the Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation.
“Among the reasons behind the pressure exerted on the Syrian people over the past years has been Syria’s support for the Palestinian people’s goals,” the President asserted.
According to Iranian State media, Abbas said, “Coordination between Iran and Syria has led to very positive and favorable results and positively affected the military and political aspects of the issues concerning Syria.”
TOP PHOTO: President Hassan Rouhani with Syrian MP Hadiya Khalaf Abbas in Tehran on Wednesday
Saudi-Iran Talks Over Iranian Pilgrims Rejoining Hajj
A Saudi minister has held talks with an Iranian delegation about the possibility of Iranian pilgrims rejoining the annual hajj to Mecca, almost 18 months after a disaster that killed 464 Iranians among thousands of victims.
Talks were held in summer 2016, despite Saudi Arabia’s breaking of relations with Tehran earlier in the year, but they made no progress. For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran’s 64,000 pilgrims did not attend the hajj in the autumn.
“Iran’s policy is to send pilgrims to the hajj, of course, if Saudi Arabia accepts our conditions,” Iran’s Culture Minister Reza Salehi Amiri told State TV.
More than 1.8 million pilgrims took part in last year’s hajj.