Israel ‘main source of instability in West Asia’

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Israeli and US flags burn outside the Iranian Parliament after the Israeli assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has condemned the Israeli occupation regime as the main source of instability in West Asia, and warned that the region has not, and will not, be indifferent to its actions.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in the Iranian capital Tehran on Monday.
The top Iranian diplomat highlighted his country’s constant efforts to achieve ‘peace, stability and lasting security’ in the region, and strongly condemned Israel’s repeated attacks on Syria.
‘This regime is the main source of instability in the region, and only “survives” through warmongering,’ he said.
‘The fake rulers of the Zionist regime have realised that no action of the Zionists will go unanswered,’ he added. ‘The region has not been and will not be indifferent to the moves of the Zionist regime.’
Amir-Abdollahian underscored the necessity of continuing the Astana peace talks on the Syrian conflict and said there is consensus among all parties that the format will continue to operate in subsequent meetings at the level of foreign ministers and presidents.
The top Iranian diplomat said the framework of the quadrilateral Astana meetings between Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran as part of the political process to end the Syria conflict was the ‘most suitable diplomatic path’ for the establishment of security on the common borders of Syria and Turkey.
‘Iran firmly backs the right of the Syrian people to support the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,’ Amir-Abdollahian said, adding: ‘We believe that the military presence of foreign countries (mainly the United States) in Syria will not contribute to stability and security in the country and the region.’
Stressing that Iran fully understands Turkey’s concerns about the security of its common borders with Syria, Amir-Abdollahian said: ‘We, however, believe that military presence in Syria is not the solution.’
The Iranian foreign minister underlined that the immediate withdrawal of the American occupation forces from Syrian territory would be a great contribution to the stability and security of the region.
‘The occupying American forces brought nothing to the region, but intensified insecurity in Syria and support for terrorists in (Syria’s northwestern province of) Idlib,’ he added.
He also underlined the need for the immediate and safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
Meanwhile, Tehran has called on the world to condemn the attacks on Syria, and to work to get the western sanctions against it removed.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Iran’s top diplomat said the development of all-out relations between Tehran and Baghdad, especially in the fields of politics, trade, energy and science, was the main highlight of his meeting with the Syrian foreign minister.
Amir-Abdollahian added that the two sides also reiterated the need for the American forces to leave Syrian soil immediately, while urging all countries to respect their neighbours’ territorial integrity.
Mekdad, for his part, expressed satisfaction with his visit to Tehran and said the two countries are taking practical steps to further expand their bilateral ties in all fields.
Mekdad censured certain countries in the region for disrupting relations between the states and said Syria ‘resolutely’ stands by the Palestinian people.
He praised the Palestinian nation as ‘noble’ and said: ‘We condemn the Zionist regime for the crimes it commits, they have martyred around 300 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.’
Stressing that the ongoing developments in Israel are the result of the deep crises the illegal entity is facing, Mekdad said: ‘The Zionist regime commits various crimes in Palestine, and the countries that support it are also an accomplice in the crimes of that regime.’
Mekdad also said Damascus supports all efforts for the unification between Arab and Muslim countries, and praised Iran’s active diplomacy in that regard.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mekdad pointed to the US crimes in the region and said: ‘War crimes of the United States will definitely end because the Syrian people will not allow this process to continue.’
Stressing that the US presence in northeastern Syria is ‘illegal’, he said: ‘Syria calls for the withdrawal of American forces and the (so-called) international coalition.’
The Syrian diplomat also called on the Arab countries to stop their support for terrorism.
Asked about the rise in the number of American troops in the region, Mekdad pointed out that: ‘The goal of the United States in increasing its forces in Syria is to continue the aggression and looting of Syria, so it is not surprising that the United States supports terrorism.”
Underlining that the US relocates terrorists in the region to achieve its goals, the diplomat said the same situation is true in northern Syria, where the goal is to prevent the resolution of conflicts and to weaken the Syrian government.
‘The Syrian government and nation want the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights and taking back control of Syria’s own resources.’
Mekdad also censured hostile measures by certain Western governments to support US crimes in Syria and the region.
‘Almost 300,000 terrorists have entered Syrian territory (since the outbreak of the Syria crisis) but we managed to emerge victorious (in the war) thanks to the resistance front and the brave Syrian army and the faith of the Syrian people.’
He said that direct US aggression against Syria has killed more than 250 Syrian citizens since 2014 when the US-led coalition got involved in the Syria conflict.
Underscoring the need for the withdrawal of all foreign occupation forces from Syria, Mekdad said: ‘A number of countries allied with the evil powers … followed the approach of (the terrorists) Daesh.
‘The forces that entered Syria’s territory will face the resistance of the Syrian people … There is no difference between Daesh, the US and the Zionist regime. We will not forget the crimes against Syria.’
The top Syrian diplomat also offered his gratitude to Iran’s leadership, government and nation for their aid to Syria in tough times.

  • Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) will soon unveil its latest strategic systems and capabilities.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the IRGC continues to boost its power in order to safeguard the Islamic Revolution as well as the national security of Iran.
‘Public opinion and the Iranian people will be able to witness the capabilities of the IRGC’s various forces during the current year,’ the spokesman said.
‘In the area of maritime defence, new strategic systems and capabilities of the IRGC Navy … will soon be unveiled.’
The IRGC Navy commander says his forces are currently at their highest level of preparedness and have complete control over the Persian Gulf.
Sharif emphasised that for the IRGC, elevation of its all-out defence power in order to deal with all possible and imaginable threats is an absolute priority.
Established in 1979, the IRGC has been closely cooperating with the Iranian Army in the face of all kinds of foreign threats as manifested during the eight-year war imposed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on Iran during the 1980s.
The IRGC has also made great sacrifices in the fight against terrorist groups operating in the West Asia region, while helping the Iranian people during tough times such as natural disasters.

  • The defence chiefs of Iran and Belarus have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve cooperation in the defence sector.

The MoU was signed by Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin following a meeting in Tehran on Monday.
Pointing to the two countries’ common stance on many regional and international issues, Ashtiani said Belarus has a special place in Iran’s foreign policy.
He added that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s talks with senior Iranian officials in Tehran in March and his meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei ,indicate the significance of Minsk in Iran’s foreign policy.
During Lukashenko’s state visit to Tehran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and his Belarusian counterpart signed eight agreements on various fields, including trade, transportation, agriculture and mining, under a cooperation roadmap which marked 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two counties.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told the Belarusian president that all those countries that have been put under unilateral sanctions by the United States and its Western allies must join hands to destroy those bans.
Referring to defence cooperation between Tehran and Minsk, Ashtiani said: ‘Making use of the two countries’ capabilities and capacities and defence synergies will establish peace, stability and security in the region.’
He reaffirmed the determination of the two countries’ top officials to improve the level of bilateral cooperation as a strategic principle to overcome the West’s sanctions policy against independent states, including Iran and Belarus.
The Iranian defence minister added that recent global developments indicate that the world is moving towards a new geometry and international order.
In this new world order, he said, independent countries refuse to accept a unipolar system and seek to play a greater role in global management.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian defence chief said the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) into eastern Europe regardless of the regional countries’ concerns is the root cause of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
‘The Islamic Republic of Iran supports any diplomatic effort that leads to the peaceful settlement of the conflicts in Ukraine,’ Ashtiani pointed out.
Russia has repeatedly warned US-led NATO forces against the alliance’s expansion. It says that NATO leaders betrayed a promise not to expand the body after the fall of the Soviet Union.