Iran, Russia to continue to protect Syria

Israeli troops patrol near the northern border with Syria

Velayati is in Moscow to submit messages from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Velayati was speaking at a forum in Moscow.

Velayati asserted that Iran and Russia's ties are "strategic", citing mutual fight against Daesh in Syria, cooperation at the United Nations and also Russia's support for crafting the 2015 nuclear deal as "other examples of strategic and long-lasting ties".

"Qassemi said after Trump's "strategic mistake" to exit the multilateral and worldwide accord, Iran chose to dispatch a number of its special representatives" to other countries to "carry messages of high-ranking" Iranian officials about the country's viewpoints and stance on the "selfish" USA behavior which runs counter to worldwide regulations.

Israeli leaders have recently reiterated that they expect Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Iranian-backed allies to honour the agreement which sets out a demilitarized zone along the frontier and limits the number of forces each side can deploy within 25 kilometres (15 miles) of the zone.

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Iran has also made moves to align closer with China, with Velayati expected to visit Beijing in the near future, Reuters reports. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special adviser on worldwide affairs to the speaker of Iran's parliament, said Velayati was scheduled to meet Putin on Thursday and would discuss ways to confront United States policy in the Middle East region.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that Velayati's visit was part of efforts to make Iran's stance clear after the U.S. pullout from the JCPOA signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

But European firms are reluctant to risk far-reaching U.S. financial penalties they would face for doing business in Iran.

Argentina's government voiced its frustration with Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration on Thursday, after Moscow ignored a formal request from an Argentine judge to arrest a senior visiting Iranian official implicated in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

"Therefore, his presence or absence in Russian Federation has no effect on our strategic mission", he added. He said Iran and Russian Federation will maintain their military presence in Syria to make sure terrorists will not resurge. However, Iranian and Russian interests in Syria are not perfectly aligned, and Russia has needed to balance its positive relations with Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed the presence of Iranians on the Israel-Syria border.

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