Rouhani: Only Syrian army is able to provide security at border with Turkey

October 9, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that security at Syria-Turkey borders can just be provided by the Syrian Army, renewing Tehran’s call that the United States’ forces should leave Syria.

“We have announced that security at the north of Syria and south of Turkey can just be provided by the Syrian Army and we should make the grounds for the Syrian Army’s presence in this region. Other countries should help and the United States’ forces leave this region, and the Kurds in this region, which is their own country, should be beside the Syrian Army,” he said at a cabinet session.

Rouhani noted that the Turkish government has concerns about its southern borders which should be allayed.

“We believe that the right way and method should be chosen on this path,” he added.

Rouhani also said, “Today, the main issue is not north of Syria and east of Euphrates. The main problem is the Idlib region in which all the terrorists have gathered. We hope that the regional countries would help in this respect and the government of Turkey would be more careful in this line so that we will not face a new problem in the region.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced early on Tuesday that preparations for a military operation in northern Syria are complete.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday, voicing Tehran’s strong opposition to any possible Turkish military intervention in Syria, warning that such a move will certainly exacerbate the security situation in the region.

The statement underlined that military aggression against Syria and deployment of Turkish forces in the northern part of the war-torn country will not allay Ankara’s security concerns.

“Iran is ready to mediate via holding urgent contacts with senior Turkish and Syrian officials to meet existing concerns through peaceful and diplomatic ways. Tehran believes that Syria’s integrity and national sovereignty should be respected and reiterates that the Adana Pact enjoys a suitable basis for the resumption of such mediating talks,” the ministry’s statement read.  

‘U.S. maximum pressure will not affect Iran anymore’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said that the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” has failed and will not affect Iran anymore.

“Today, all the statistics and also the people’s spirit show that the time that the maximum pressure affected is gone,” he opined.

He noted that the Iranian people have defeated sanctions and policy of maximum pressure.

The president also said, “The path that has been taken by the people, system, Leader, armed forces and all the factions (against sanctions) is right and we should continue it through unity and integrity.”

During a meeting with top officials of the Intelligence Ministry on Tuesday, Rouhani said that the Iranian nation has successfully passed the difficult test of countering the “maximum pressure” policy by the ill-wishers in the White House.

“The enemies of the Islamic establishment and the Iranian nation, while they may not confess, have accepted the fact that the maximum pressure strategy has failed and they must throw away such approach when facing the Iranian nation,” he pointed out.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions on Iran as part of “maximum pressure” against the country.

Iranian officials insist that the maximum pressure policy has failed.

‘Arbaeen is a historic miracle’

Rouhani also told the cabinet meeting that “Arbaeen is a historic miracle”.

Arbaeen marks an end to a 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his loyal companions at the Battle of Karbala on Muharram 10 in the year 61 AH (680 CE).

Millions of pilgrims from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and some other countries head to Karbala, where the shrine of Imam Hussein is located, on foot. It is considered the greatest march in the world.

This year, Arbaeen falls on October 19.

NA/PA

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