Source: Mehr News Agency
MASHHAD, March 29 (Mehr News Agency) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran is vehemently opposed to any initiative that the United States introduces in regard to the situation in Syria.
The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the holy city of Mashhad, in the northeastern Iranian Razavi Khorasan Province, on Thursday.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) with Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will defend Syria due to its (Syria's) support for the line of resistance against the Zionist regime and is strongly opposed to any intervention by foreign forces in Syria's internal affairs," Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
"We always support reforms in Syria, and the reforms which have been initiated in Syria should continue," he added.
On the pro-democracy uprisings occurring in certain regional countries, Ayatollah Khamenei stated, "With the grace of God, regional developments have so far been and will be in the interests of Islam and Muslims.
"At this critical juncture in the region, the most important issue is that independent countries make correct decisions."
He went on to say that the hegemonistic powers, particularly the United States, are using regional countries as a "tool", adding, "The Americans do not regard any nation as an independent nation.
"The Americans treat all countries this way, and therefore, interests of Muslim countries should be taken into consideration while making decisions."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei commented on the fact that Muslim politicians are in positions of power in Turkey, noting, "Such a situation in Turkey is not in favor of the United States and the West. But the Islamic Republic of Iran is pleased with the fact that Muslim brothers are in positions of power in Turkey as much as they (the Westerners) are unhappy about such a situation in Turkey."
The Leader also commented on the relations between Tehran and Ankara and said that there is great potential for the expansion of ties, particularly in the field of energy.
"Iran is a rich country in terms of oil and gas reserves," he added.
The Leader also said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes in the expansion of cooperation with Turkey, and, whenever the two countries have stood by each other on various issues, the cooperation has always benefited Iran, Turkey, and the Muslim world."
Iran, Turkey bound by historical ties
Erdogan said that Turkey and Iran are bound by historical ties, adding, "Due to such a long history, we believe that the relations between the two countries, particularly in the area of infrastructure (development), should be deepened."
He also said that the Turkish delegation's visit to Iran shows his country's determination to expand relations with Iran in all areas, especially in the energy sector.
On the situation in the region, the Turkish prime minister stated, "The region is experiencing a very difficult situation, and we hope that we will weather the storm."
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