'Terrorists will benefit from military operations in northern Syria’

Leader: Strike on northern Syria will harm Turkey, Iran, Syria

July 19, 2022 - 18:3

TEHRAN— Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei received Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation on Tuesday noon.

During the meeting, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasized the need to increase cooperation between the two countries, especially commercial cooperation.

He then went on to discuss the Syrian conflict, reiterating the need to honor the territorial integrity of Syria. The Leader also reacted to some statements about a possible Turkish military operation in northern Syria, saying, “Maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria is very important and any military attack in northern Syria will definitely harm Turkey, Syria and the entire region, and it will benefit the terrorists.”

Leader says if there is a policy to block the border between Iran and Armenia, the Islamic Republic will oppose it, as this border is a connection route that has been thousands of years old. The Leader added, “This is definitely to the detriment of Syria, Turkey, and the region. It will not achieve the expected political results from the Syrian government.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also said the honor and greatness of the Islamic Ummah will be dependent on overcoming differences of opinion, as well as vigilance against divisive policies, mentioning the occupation regime of Israel as one of the causes of discord and enmity in the region.

The Leader considered Palestine as the first issue of the Islamic world and emphasized, “Despite the favor of some governments towards the Zionist regime, the nations are deeply opposed to this usurping regime.”

Emphasizing that the U.S. and the Israeli regime should not be relied upon, he underlined, “Today, neither the Zionist regime, nor the U.S., nor others will be able to stop the deep-rooted movement of the Palestinians, and the end result will be in the interest of the Palestinian people.”

Referring to the Turkish president's hatred of terrorist groups, Ayatollah Khamenei said terrorism must be countered, but “a military attack in Syria will benefit terrorists, although terrorists are not limited to a specific group.”

In response to the Turkish president's request for Iran's cooperation in fighting terrorist groups, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “We will certainly cooperate with you in the fight against terrorism.”

Emphasizing that Tehran considers the security of Turkey and its borders as its own, Ayatollah Khamenei told Erdogan, “You also consider the security of Syria to be your security. The Syrian issues should be resolved through negotiations, and Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia should resolve this issue through dialogue.”

‘Connection route between Iran and Armenia must remain open’

He also expressed his satisfaction with the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan and said, “Of course, if there is a policy to block the border between Iran and Armenia, the Islamic Republic will oppose it, as this border is a connection route that has been thousands of years old.”

Erdogan says, “In Syria, terrorist groups are supported by heavy weaponry from Western countries such as Germany, England, France, and especially the United States.”The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also called the rising cooperation between Iran and Turkey on all regional issues useful and necessary and said Iran has always defended Erdogan’s government in internal conflicts and against interference.

“As you said, we are friends of each other in difficult times and we pray for the Muslim nation of Turkey,” the Leader highlighted. 

Elsewhere in the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei called the volume and quality of economic exchanges and cooperation between the two countries much less than the existing capacities, stressing that this issue should be resolved in the negotiations between the presidents.

In the meeting, which was also attended by President Ebrahim Raisi, Erdogan said it is necessary to unite the Islamic Ummah and increase the solidarity between Iran and Turkey. 

“Turkey has never been silent in the face of injustices against Iran, and the brotherhood of Iran and Turkey should expand in all areas,” Erdogan said in reference to illegal sanctions against Iran. 

Emphasizing that he has always been and will be against unilateral sanctions against Iran, Erdogan pointed out that Ankara supports Iran's legitimate demands based on the JCPOA talks and encourages Turkish companies to invest in Iran.

Referring to Iran and Turkey’s campaigns against terrorists for many years, the Turkish president said, “In Syria, terrorist groups are supported by heavy weaponry from Western countries such as Germany, England, France, and especially the United States.”

Erdogan concluded his remarks by stating that Turkey's position regarding the territorial integrity of Syria is clear, saying, “We expect the Syrian government to start political processes. At the Astana process, the Syrian issue is on the agenda, and we hope to achieve good results.”

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