U.S. must leave Syria: ambassador

January 2, 2022 - 18:52

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Mehdi Sobhani, has called on the United States to leave Syria, adding that the game has changed in the war-ravaged Arab country.

In an interview with Al Ahed News, Sobhani said Iran rejects the presence of occupation and terrorism in Syria. 

Sobhani spoke about the prospects for economic relations between Damascus and Tehran, stressing the importance of changing the prevailing “mindset” about the security situation in Syria, and underlining the rejection of the illegal presence of all occupying and terrorist forces in this country.

The Iranian ambassador said that economic and commercial cooperation between Iran and Syria and Iranian participation in the reconstruction in Syria is an important matter and a sensitive stage in which the two countries are going through while experiencing economic war and pressure due to massive sanctions. 

“Therefore, we focus on the economic and commercial aspects. In this context, as a first step, priorities must be set, and then the obstacles that hinder economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries must be removed,” Sobhani noted.

The second issue, which is of great importance, according to Sobhani, is the financing of reconstruction projects and the consolidation of stability in Syria, which encourages investors to go there. The enemy always promotes the idea that Syria lacks security in order to prevent the development of economic cooperation and investment, according to the ambassador. 

With regard to trade, Sobhani emphasized the existence of two main pillars of trade: The first is the logistical aspect, and the second is the possibility of money transfers or banking work.

“From the logistical point of view, and since there is no common border between Iran and Syria, the distance between the two countries is somewhat far, and we are currently working on finding roads linking Iran with Syria and reducing the time required to transport goods between the two countries,” Sobhani said, adding, “As for the second issue, it relates to banks and the possibility of money transfers to merchants, and work is currently underway to find different ways to accomplish money transfers, given that Syria is facing some problems today as a result of sanction.”

The Iranian ambassador to Syria indicated that during the past months, a number of exhibitions were held in Syria, in which about 120 Iranian companies participated. Through participation, Tehran sought several goals.

First, showing that Syria enjoys security and stability and preparing the ground for businessmen to come and see with their own eyes that the situation is safe in Syria. Second, putting emphasis on providing an opportunity for companies to learn about the needs of the Syrian market and its need to invest in it. Third, enabling Iranian companies to conclude contracts with their Syrian counterparts and holding meetings between officials of Iranian companies and Syrian officials in various commercial, economic and industrial fields.

“The first step for us was achieved and represented in the establishment of the Iranian Commodities Exhibition in Damascus, which was attended by the Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade and personally supervised the monitoring and directing of Iranian participation in various fields,” Sobhani pointed out. 

The Iranian ambassador pointed out that Tehran strongly condemns and denounces the occupation of Syria by any country or any force, whether this occupation is in the Golan or in the north-west or north-east. 

“We condemn any presence of any non-foreign country or any terrorist forces,” he said.

Regarding the US presence in Syria, Sobhani expressed his conviction that these forces will be forced to withdraw from Syrian territory, “and we cannot set a date for that, but this will happen and must happen.”

Sobhani pointed out that during the Cold War, the great powers determined the fate of matters, but today there are new powers that control them, so that the United States is no longer able to determine the fate of the region, but there are new powers, and one of these forces is the axis of resistance. “Today the game ground, the stadium and the type of game have changed,” Sobhani noted.

The Iranian ambassador welcomed the opening-up in Syrian foreign relations, and said, “We welcome any opening that achieves the interests of the Syrian government and people, and our goal was and still is to establish security and stability in Syria and to achieve security and development in this country.”

Sobhani hoped that this openness in foreign relations would contribute to enhancing stability, progress, security and economic development in Syria.

The Iranian ambassador stressed that the enemies of Syria must understand that their policies towards this country have failed and that they have only brought harm and loss to the peoples of the region.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that in Syria, the enemy has been bogged down with no hope for the future.

“On the whole, the Resistance and anti-imperial movement in the region is now more thriving, vibrant, and promising than two years ago,” the Leader stated in a meeting on Saturday with the family of General Qassem Soleimani, the noted commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force who was assassinated by the U.S. on January 3, 2020 while on a trip to Baghdad.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that after the martyrdom of General Soleimani the axis of resistance continued to function in a number of countries including Syria. “The enemies surmised that with the martyrdom of Soleimani, Abu Mahdi and their companions, everything will be over. But today due to the blessing of our dear General Soleimani’s blood, the U.S has fled Afghanistan. In Iraq, it is forced to pretend to withdraw and announce an advisory role without a military presence, something that [our] Iraqi brothers should pursue vigilantly. In Yemen, the Resistance front is advancing. In Syria, the enemy has been bogged down with no hope for the future,” the Leader stated. The Leader also pointed to the popularity General Soleimani gained after his martyrdom in Iran and the broader Muslim world.

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