Amid Iran’s economic problems and conflicts across the Middle East, the Supreme Leader has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for restraint of the US.

Putin was received by Ayatollah Khamenei after a summit with the Iranian and Turkish Presidents in Tehran over the fate of Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

See Syria Daily, Sept 8: Russia, Iran, & Turkey Split in Summit Over Idlib

Khamenei told Putin that Syria is an example of “restraining America”, insisting that the US — which has forces alongside the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the north and east of the country — has been defeated.

US officials leaked to American media this week that they have repelled Donald Trump’s desire for withdrawal, with the American backing of the SDF to continue — in large part to limit Iran’s influence in Syria and hinder movement by land of Iranian and Iranian-led fighters into the country.

The Supreme Leader implicitly referred to the serious economic situation in Iran, telling Putin that US sanctions against Russia, Turkey, and the Islamic Republic is a compelling reason for expansion of cooperation, including trade without use of the US dollar.

Iran’s long-term difficulties, a combination of internal issues and the American sanctions, have been compounded by Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. Expanding sanctions will culminate on November 5 with comprehensive restrictions, including on Tehran’s energy and financial sectors.

The Islamic Republic is facing a sharp cut in its oil revenues, and has struggled to establish trade and investment links — notably from Europe — amid the threat of US punishment of any company doing business with Tehran.

Khamenei referred to his command last week for the Rouhani Government to suspend negotiations with the European Union and its members, despite the threat of many European companies suspending involvement in Iran.

The Iranian rial has fallen 65% this year v. the US dollar, including more than 25% in the past week. It opened this morning at 137,000:1 against the dollar.