‘Assad knows that Iran is Syria’s only strategic ally’

TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (MNA) – Iranian MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad knows that Iran is the only Syria’s strategic ally which stands against efforts to divide the country.

The Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament made the remarks in an exclusive interview with ‘The New Arab’ media outlet.

Tehran and Moscow have approached each other because of a third cause, he said, adding that Iran should pursue its own interests while enhancing ties with other countries than Russia as well.

Regarding the possibility of talks between Iran and the US, Falahatpisheh referred to remarks of the Leader of the Islamic Republic who has said that “there will be no war, nor will we negotiate with the US.” Current circumstances is far better than that of before signing Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he said, adding that if Iran adopts proper measures, it can isolate current US administration.

Iran has taken its domestic options for dealing with sanctions, including fighting corruption and strengthening relations with other countries, he noted.

Elsewhere he touched upon the issue of Iran’s oil export and elaborated on President Rouhani’s remarks regarding Strait of Hormuz. Rouhani didn’t mean that Tehran will block this strait, rather he meant that creating tensions in the region will negatively affect all those countries which export their oil from Strait of Hormuz.

He also commented on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi remarks on US sanctions against Iran. Falahatpisheh said Iraqi Prime Minister tried to revise his remarks which had provoked criticism by both Iranian and Iraqi officials. “I don’t think Iraq can theoretically and practically accept sanctions against Iran,” he added.

Haider al-Abadi had said last week that "while he opposed the sanctions in principle, Iraq could not violate them and risk punitive action by US President Donald Trump's administration."

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