On July 13, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Iran would immediately withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq if governments of the two countries demanded so.
“We will immediately leave if Iraqi and Syrian governments want it, not because of Israel and America’s pressure,” said Velayati at the Valdai Discussion Club, according to the Lebanese news outlet Daily Star.
Velayati added that the military presence of his country in Syria is well-coordinated with Russia and the Damascus government. According to Khamenei’s adviser, Iran is only working to “counter the Americans powerfully” in the war torn country.
“We will counter the Americans powerfully … We will help Syria counter the US aggression, If the US does not want to leave our region, we will force it to do that,” the Russian news agency TASS quoted Velayati as saying.
While Velayati claimed that the Iranian military presence in Syria “has no relation to Israel,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, said last week that Iranian military advisers will help Syria to counter the Israeli attempt to gain dominance in the region.
Recently, Israel and the US began pressuring Iran through political, economic and indirect military means to withdraw its troops from Syria. Valayati’s statement indicates that Iran is not ready to take such step before a US withdrawal from the country. And even in this case, it’s very unlikely that Teheran will withdraw its forces.