Iran says to continue its presence in Syria

Iran says to continue its presence in Syria
13:27 14 Dekabr 2015
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Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 14

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran will continue its advisory aid to Syria, Hossein Jaber Ansari, the spokesman with the Iranian foreign ministry said.

Iran has sent military advisors to Syria upon Damascus request, Ansari said during his weekly press conference in the foreign ministry in Tehran Dec. 14, Iranian state IRINN TV reported.

No request was submitted from Syria so far for sending fighters to the country so far, Ansari said, adding that Tehran would consider that within the framework of its policies and principles if Damascus issues such a request.

He further commented on the upcoming Syria peace talks which will be held in New York saying the meeting's success depends on agreement on defining the list of terrorist groups in Syria.

While responding to a question about the level of Iran’s participation in the meeting, he said, it also depends on the issue of preparing the list.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a phone talk with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura on Dec. 13 said that preparing the list of opposition groups, which are committed to a political process, alongside the list of terrorist groups depends on negotiations between all influential parties and efforts by the UN.

The top Iranian diplomat further said that settling the Syria crisis is only possible by political approach and Syrian talks between the government and the opposition groups which believe in political process.

Iran has participated in the two latest rounds of international talks on the conflict in Syria which were held in Vienna on Oct. 30 and Nov. 14.

The first round of peace talks held in Vienna on Oct. 30 failed to reach an agreement on Bashar Al-Assad’s fate, as Tehran expressed support for President Assad’s government, while their rival, Saudi Arabia, demanded his exile.

Meanwhile the parties reached an agreement in the second round of talks last month which set a January 1 target for peace talks and would see a transitional government set up in six months and elections in 18 months.

Tehran has always expressed support for the Syrian government since it views the Assad regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as part of an "axis of resistance" against Israel.

Western countries accuse Iran of running military operations in Syria, but Tehran denies these accusations. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that they only provide military consultations to Syrian forces.

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