The advisor to the Supreme Leader for international affairs has said that Turkey does everything it can to undermine Bashar al-Assad in Syria, but Tehran maintains friendly relations with Ankara despite differences of opinion over Syria.
The following is the translation of the comments Ali Akbar Velayati made in an interview with Lebanon’ As-Safir daily as reported by entekhab.ir on November 21:
If Iran had not helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and left Damascus in the lurch, the Syrian capital would have fallen by now and plunged into conditions worse than those of Libya.
A plan to disintegrate Syria into five states was pursued as a dream to break up Iraq into three countries was followed. Tehran stood up to such plans. I can say that if it wasn’t for Iran’s stance, Damascus and Baghdad would have fallen by now.
At a meeting between Iran’s foreign minister and the US secretary of state during the nuclear negotiations, John Kerry once told Mohammad Javad Zarif that America knew about Iran’s help to the Iraqi government.
In response, Zarif said that if Tehran had not done that, IS would have made phone calls to the US from Baghdad rather than Mosul.
IS has sought to overrun Baghdad and Damascus, but it has never said that it plans to fight Israel. That means Israel would have secured dominance over Baghdad and Damascus, and if Iran had not helped Yemen, Sana’a would have fallen to invaders. It’s not hyperbole to describe Iran as the backbone of the region and the world of Islam.