Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, welcomed further expansion of “bilateral, regional and international” cooperation between Tehran and Moscow. Praising Moscow’s influential role in regional issues, particularly with regard to the issue of Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “America’s long-term scheme for the [Middle East] region is detrimental to all nations and countries, particularly Iran and Russia, and it should be thwarted through vigilance and closer interaction.”
During this meeting, which lasted around two hours, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution described Mr. Putin as a prominent figure in today’s world, and while offering gratitude to his country for the efforts it has made with regard to the settlement of Iran’s nuclear issue, said: “This (Iran's nuclear) issue has reached a conclusion, but we place no trust in the Americans and we are watching the behavior and performance of the American government on this issue with open eyes.”
Referring to the seriousness of Mr. Putin and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran for further broadening of bilateral relations, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The level of cooperation [between Tehran and Moscow], including with regard to the economic issues, can be expanded much more than the current level.”
Referring to suitable cooperation that exists between Tehran and Moscow with regard to political and security matters, Ayatollah Khamenei described the Russian president’s stances on a variety of issues, particularly over the past one and a half years, as very good and innovative, and added: “The Americans always try to drive their rivals into a position of inaction, but you have neutralized this policy.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said Moscow’s decisions and measures on the issue of Syria have boosted the regional and global standing of Russia and Mr. Putin in person, adding: “Under a long-term scheme, the Americans are determined to dominate Syria and then extend their control over the region [in a bid] to fill the historical void of not having dominance on West Asia, which this scheme poses a threat to all nations and countries, particularly Russia and Iran.”
“The Americans and their followers on the issue of Syria are determined to realize the objectives, which they failed to realize militarily, in the political arena and at the negotiating table, which this attempt must be vigilantly and actively blocked,” noted Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the Americans’ insistence on the ouster of Bashar al-Assad, that is, the legal and elected president of the Syrian people, is among the weaknesses of Washington’s announced policies, adding: “The Syrian president has gained in a general election the majority of the votes [cast] by the Syrian people with ‘different political, religious and ethnic’ views, and the US has no right to overlook this vote and the choice of the Syrian people.”
“As far as Syria is concerned, any solution [to the country’s crisis] must be pursued with the knowledge and agreement of people and officials of this country,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also stated that the Americans’ direct and indirect assistance to terrorist groups including Daesh is another obvious weakness of the United States’ policies, adding: “Cooperation with countries that have lost their credit in regional and global public opinion due to their support for terrorists shows that the Americans do not follow an honest diplomacy.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted: “For this reason, except for the nuclear issue (which of course has its own special reasons), we do not have, and will not have, any bilateral negotiation with the Americans neither on Syria, nor on any other issue.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said correct resolution of the issue of Syria is very important and will have great influence on the future outlook of the region, adding: “If the terrorists, who are committing these crimes in Syria, are not repressed, the extent of their destructive activities will spill over into Central Asia and other regions.”
In this meeting, the Russian president also referred to the valuable experiences of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and while expressing happiness about this meeting with the Leader, said: “Development of relations between the two countries, including in the fields of technology, aerospace and advanced technologies, has picked up more speed and we are very delighted that we have very active cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue of security and the settlement of regional and global crises.”
Putin assessed the Islamic Republic as an independent and steadfast country with a very good future perspective, noting: “We regard you as a trustworthy and reliable ally in the region and the world.”
“Unlike certain [governments], we are committed to not stabbing our partners in the back and not taking any action in secret against our friends and [even] if we have differences we [prefer to] reach understanding through dialogue,” said Putin.
The Russian president described the positions of the two countries on the issue of Syria as very close, and touching on the high significance of cooperation in this field, he said: “We also emphasize that the resolution of the Syria crisis is possible only politically and [through] accepting the vote of the people in this country and the demand of all Syrian ethnicities and groups, and that nobody is entitled to impose his views on this country’s people and make decision on the structure of government and the fate of the Syrian president in their place.”
“As His Excellency stated, the Americans intend to pursue the objectives, which they have failed to achieve in the Syrian battlefields, at the negotiating table, and we are closely watching this issue,” Putin said.
Putin also stressed the continuation of Russia’s strikes against terrorist groups operating in Syria, and while describing cooperation and consultation between Tehran and Moscow about the process of political settlement of the Syrian issue as absolutely necessary, said: “Those in the world, who claim [to be promoting] democracy, cannot oppose elections in Syria.”
At the end of this meeting, the Russian president presented the Leader of the Islamic Revolution with one of the oldest manuscripts of the Holy Quran as a very precious gift. Ayatollah Khamenei thanked President Putin for the gift.