Russian envoy says Iran’s presence in Syria 'legitimate'

TEHRAN, Jul. 19 (MNA) – Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan has told a Russian newspaper that Iran’s presence in Syria is legitimate as it is present in the Arab country at the request of its government.

The Russian ambassador made the remarks in an interview with Russian newspaper Kommersant, during which he also pointed to Russia’s attempts to bring under control a possible military confrontation between Iran and the Israeli regime in Syria.

“There have been conflicts from time to time there and we are naturally concerned about the possibility of a military confrontation between the Iranian and Israeli forces in Syria. we will do our best to prevent tensions from escalating,” Dzhagaryan said.

With regard to rumors that Russia has asked Iran to leave Syria, he said “Iran is not a [small] country you can force it out. Iran is a big country that pursues an independent foreign policy. Working with Iranians can only be done through convincing. Pressuring Iran will have adverse effect.”

On the US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal and its possible impact on Russia-Iran bilateral relations, the Russian ambassador to Tehran stated "our trade and bilateral economic relations are developing, we have a number of big joint projects despite the risk of US sanctions.”

In response to a question whether Russia will continue to buy Iranian oil after the US sanctions come into effect in October, Dzhagaryan said “we do not accept unilateral US sanctions. In our opinion, they are illegal. Iran has abided by its commitments to the JCPOA, and the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed this.”

At the end of the interview, he urged Iran to stay in the nuclear deal, adding that Russia will work with Chinese and European companies to secure Iran’s benefits in the JCPOA despite the fact that it will not be an easy job to do.

KI/4351115

News Code 135870

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