TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - In a meeting with Russia's special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in Tehran on Saturday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said all sides involved in the Syrian crisis must respect the country’s national sovereignty.
“Any agreement must not undermine this unchangeable principle or prepare the ground for Syria’s breakup,” he added.
“The Zionist regime [of Israel] forms deep and extensive bonds with terrorist groups and their sponsors and seeks to make use of these groups as an instrument to allegedly secure Israel’s borders and to continue with the suppression of the oppressed Palestinian people,” he said.
The SNSC secretary described as “unacceptable and worrisome” moves by certain terrorist elements to take advantage of political talks and ceasefire to recover.
“These elements are not committed to any agreement or deal and will use any opportunity to kill innocent people and pursue their own inhumane objectives,” Shamkhani said.
The Russian diplomat, for his part, said Iran, Russia and Syria are playing a leading and determining role in the genuine fight against terrorism.
He emphasized that the three countries would seriously proceed with their strategic cooperation until uprooting terrorism.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.
Syrian Defense Minister Major General Fahd Jassem al-Freij on Thursday lauded the support provided by Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in battling terrorism inside Syria.
Russia and Iran are the main international backers of the Syrian government in its battle against foreign-backed terrorists.
At Damascus’ request, Iran has been providing military advisory support to the Syrian army in its counterterrorism operations.
Russia has been also carrying out an aerial campaign in Syria in coordination with Damascus since September 2015 to further boost the Syrian military’s anti-terror fight.