Israelis to face tough response if cross red lines in Syria

TEHRAN, Feb. 14 (MNA) – Iranian foreign minister's senior assistant on special political affairs, Ali-Asghar Khaji, warned the Israeli regime against crossing red lines in Syria, in a reference to the Zionists’ alleged air raids on Syrian soil.

The diplomat described "the nature of the Zionist entity" as "aggressive and hostile towards the region, the Palestinians, and neighboring countries."

"While the Syrian government is fighting terrorists, the Israeli regime supports them. Our presence in Syria is aimed at combating ISIL and other terrorist groups, but if Israel wants to cross the 'red lines', it will face the toughest response, which will make them regret their actions," Khaji told Sputnik during his visit to Damascus.

He also said Iranian presence in Syria is legitimate because it came at the request of the Syrian government and contributed to Syria's efforts in the fight against terrorism.

The Iranian aide also said Tehran wants Syrian Constitutional Committee talks to succeed.

He said Iran does not believe that the political process in Syria has failed and expects the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee to be successful.

The fifth round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee's small body mediated by UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen was held in Geneva in late January. Pedersen called the talks a "disappointment," as nothing was achieved on certain agenda issues the diplomat had defined before the start of the session.

"I do not agree ... that the political process in Syria has failed. We created the Constitutional Committee and we have a difficult road to go because there are 10 years of war between the parties, so the lack of trust was a very difficult moment. But this process has begun, and there is progress. We strive for the work of the constitutional committee to be completed successfully," Khaji said.

The diplomat noted that during his visit to the Syrian capital, he discussed the latest round of the Constitutional Committee talks, with the country's leadership. The upcoming Astana-format meeting in Russia's Sochi, scheduled for February 16-17, was also addressed. Khaji said he expects the talks to be beneficial.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee is a 150-strong body with equally-sized delegations from the government, opposition and civil society that is tasked with rewriting the nation's constitution amid conflicting issues.

MR/IRN84229249/PR

News Code 169951

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