Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has once again reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s support for Syria until its final victory over terrorism, describing Tehran-Damascus relations as “strategic and friendly.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported the Syrian people and will stand by the Syrian nation and government until the final victory over terrorism, the return of refugees and the reconstruction of the country,” Rouhani said in a meeting with new Syrian Ambassador to Tehran Shafiq Dayoub on Tuesday.
“In the field of diplomatic activities, particularly in the framework of the Astana talks, Iran will continue its efforts to establish complete stability and peace in Syria,” he added.
Iran, Russia, and Turkey have been leading a peace process for Syria known as the Astana process. Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, formerly called Astana, originally hosted the meetings.
The Astana talks resulted in two agreements.
A first deal was signed in the capital, arranging for the creation of de-escalation zones across Syria, including in parts of Idlib. The second one that came about in the Russian resort city of Sochi allowed Ankara to bring in a small number of forces to man the observation posts to reinforce de-escalation.
While the two deals have helped significantly reduce fighting in Syria, the conflict has not entirely ended, due in large part to Turkish failure to separate terrorists from what it calls “moderate” opposition groups in Idlib as well as Ankara’s dispatch of thousands of troops and heavy military hardware into the Syrian province to back the militants.
In a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Tehran earlier this month, President Rouhani said Iran and Syria share the common goal of countering the Israeli occupation and terrorism.
“There is no doubt that we must continue our resistance to the end and finalize destruction of terrorists.”
During the Tuesday meeting, the new Syrian ambassador, who presented his credentials to the Iranian president, said his country seeks to preserve all the valuable achievements that have been made over the past four decades in strategic relations with Iran.
Dayoub commended the support of the Iranian people and government for Syria at difficult junctures and said Damascus is still fighting terrorism and occupation in all their dimensions and has managed to make great achievements in the anti-terror battle. There is still a long way to go, he highlighted.
He also thanked Tehran’s diplomatic efforts to restore full peace and stability to Damascus, repatriate refugees and create the Constitutional Committee.
The Syrian diplomat emphasized that his country is committed to the preservation of security and stability in the region and would stand against any plan and conspiracy targeting them.
Japan should release Iran’s financial resources
Rouhani also met with a number of other new ambassadors to Tehran.
In a meeting with new Japanese Ambassador Kazutoshi Aikawa, Rouhani stressed the importance of accelerating the implementation of joint agreements and the release of Iranian financial resources in Tokyo.
“Iran always welcomes the expansion of economic and scientific relations with Japan and we hope to see a development in these ties and the presence of more Japanese companies to advance our national projects in the fields of science and technology.”
The Japanese ambassador presented his credentials to Rouhani and said Tokyo is determined to develop cooperation with Tehran in areas of common interest.
He added that the finalization and implementation of the agreement to boost technical cooperation would lead to broad opportunities for bilateral work.
‘Tunisia gateway for Iran to North Africa, Europe’
In another meeting with new Tunisian Ambassador to Tehran Samir al-Mansour, who submitted his credentials to the Iranian president, Rouhani said Tunisia can be the gateway for Iran to North Africa and Europe.
The Iranian president hailed Tunisia’s stance supporting Iran in international circles, particularly in dealing with sanctions imposed by the US government against Tehran.
Rouhani also received the credentials of new ambassadors of Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia and Uganda to Tehran on Tuesday.