Leader tells Putin NATO dangerous entity that must be stopped

TEHRAN, Jul. 19 (MNA) – In a meeting with the Russian president, the leader of the Islamic Revolution blamed NATO expansionist policies for the Ukraine crisis and stressed the need for US exit from the east of Syria.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei held a meeting with the visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon.

"Ongoing world events show the necessity of stepping up bilateral cooperation between Iran and Russia," the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said at the start of his remarks.

According to Ayatollah Khamenei, "There are many memoranda of understanding and contracts between the two countries, including in the oil and gas areas, which must be followed up and implemented until the end." 

He stressed the need for "Economic cooperation between Iran and Russia as a necessity that are in the interest of both countries, especially in the wake of Western sanctions."

The Leader pointed to the Ukraine issue and said, "War is a bittering and difficult issue, and the Islamic Republic is not happy at all that ordinary people suffer from it, but as regards Ukraine, if you did not take the initiative, the other side would have initiated the war."

According to Ayatollah Khamenei, "Westerners are completely opposed to a strong and independent Russia."

He further described NATO as a dangerous entity that sees no boundaries in its expansionist policy and added, "Had (NATO) been stopped in Ukraine, they would have launched the same war sometime later under the pretext of Crimea issue."

"Of course, today America and the West have become weaker than before, and despite their efforts and the huge money they spend, the success of their policies in our region, including in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, has dramatically decreased."

"An important issue in Syria is the occupation of the oil-rich areas east of the Euphrates by the Americans, which should be resolved by expelling them from that area," the Leader underscored.

Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the meddling of the Zionist Israeli regime in regional affairs and praised the recent stances adopted by the Russian President against the Zionists.

"The Islamic Republic cannot stand policies and plans that lead to the closing of the border between Iran and Armenia," Ayatollah Khamenei went on to warn.

Expressing his approval of the President of Russia's remarks about the necessity of starting the Rasht-Astara railway line, the Leader considered the project as completing the North-South transportation corridor which benefits both countries.

"Americans are both bullying and deceptive, and one of the factors that led to the collapse of the former Soviet Union was that it was fooled by American policies, although Russia has maintained its independence during your time," Ayatollah Khamenei further told Putin.

The Leader further stressed the need to ditch the US dollar in bilateral trade between the two countries.

President Raeisi was also present in the meeting.

The Iranian president and Russian counterpart held a separate meeting shortly after Putin arrived in Tehran.

The Russian president arrived in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon to attend the 7th meeting of the guarantor states of the peace process in Syria within the Astana Format.

Russian president, for his part, said that Russia did not want the war and had to engage in the Ukraine conflict because of the West's behavior.

According to Putin, Sanctions against Russia have backfired on the West, and the result is problems such as rising oil prices and food crises.

He added that Russia and Iran are drawing up new methods to use their local currencies in their trade relations.

Putin also pointed out that Iran and Russia share the same stances on the Syrian issue as they both oppose military attacks on the north of the country while the east of Euphrates must also be controlled by the Syrian government.

KI

News Code 189249

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