Iran, Russia to continue to protect Syria

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Velayati said Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views relations between Tehran and Moscow as "strategic".

Mr. Putin's reports in the meeting demonstrated that Iran-Russia oil cooperation can be developed to some $50 billion which is a considerable volume, he said, adding that Russia can appropriately replace Western companies which have left Iran due to USA sanctions.

Both Iran and Russia expressed satisfaction regarding increased rail cooperation, he said, adding that the operation of electrifying Garmsar-Incheh Borun rail route kicked off some 10 day ago by Russian investment.

Iran's Arman Daily, which is known for its close links to Rouhani, covered the meeting with the following headline: "An important message from Tehran to Moscow".

That incident came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran.

"Perhaps with Velayati's visit to Moscow, we can maintain our relations with Russian Federation, whose relations with the rest of the world are improving", Bigdeli said.

Velayati also said Iran and Russian Federation would "continue to cooperate in Syria", where both countries support President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the seven-year civil war there. The Syrian government has in the years since managed to secure most of the country, with about a quarter remaining in the hands of the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a largely Kurdish coalition that has also fought with Syrian rebel groups.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russian Federation - plus Germany.

Analysts say Trump is very eager to negotiate with Iran.

This week, the Andalou Agency also suggested that Putin's recent meetings with Trump have drawn suspicion from "much of the Iranian public ... especially in terms of Syria". Such a deal is still possible, Novak said.

Iran and Russian Federation will continue their presence in Syria by the time there would be no terrorist in the country, he insisted.

Commenting on a plan by the Trump administration to introduce sanctions against Iran's oil export, he said, "In spite of the sanctions, Iran sees no impediment to sell its oil".

Iranian military advisor are in Syria and Iraq upon the request of the countries and will leave there only upon requests by Damascus and Baghdad, he remarked. "The U.S. demand on exit of the Iranian forces from Syria is aimed at creating division among Syria's allies", he said.