Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are ready to help rebuild Syria and bring about a lasting “ceasefire” there, according to chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, adding that disarming Lebanon’s Hezbollah is out of the question, state TV reported on November 23.
Iranian state television quoted Jafari as saying: “Hezbollah must be armed to fight against the enemy of the Lebanese nation which is Israel. Naturally they should have the best weapons to protect Lebanon’s security. This issue is non-negotiable.”
Saudi Arabia has accused the heavily armed Iran-backed Hezbollah of helping Houthi forces in Yemen and playing a role in a ballistic missile attack on the kingdom earlier this month. Iran and Hezbollah both denied the claims.
Iran denies giving financial and military support to the Houthis in the struggle for Yemen, blaming the deepening crisis on Riyadh. “Iran only provides advisory and spiritual assistances to Yemen … and this help will continue,” Jafari said.
“We directly deal with global arrogance [meaning the US] and Israel not with their emissaries… That is why we do not want to have direct confrontation with Saudi Arabia,” chief commander said.
Jafari repeated Iran’s stance on its disputed ballistic missile work, saying the Islamic Republic’s missile program is for defensive purposes and not up for negotiation. “Iran will not negotiate its defensive program … there will be no talks about it,” he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to Saudi Arabia’s accusations of supplying militias in Yemen with missiles by saying that Saudi Arabia’s hostility towards Yemen was playing into the hands of ISIS and warned against putting trust in the US and Israel.