Iran coordinates military presence in Syria with Russia: Iranian official

Syria from Israel's northern border

Referring to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier today, Velayati said that the message of Iran's Leader and president was delivered to the Russian official.

An Iranian delegation led by Ali Akbar Velayati met Putin in the Russian capital on July 12, the Kremlin said. The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

He said that after the US' withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was a strategic mistake made by the USA president, the Islamic Republic of Iran chose to send special envoys to convey the messages of top Iranian leaders to other countries. Washington says it will reimpose sanctions and has told other countries to halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face United States financial measures.

Both countries emphasized continuation of Astana talks between Iran, Russia and Turkey, he said.

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.

Velayati is among special envoys that Iran is sending to various countries in response to the USA withdrawal earlier this year from the 2015 nuclear deal.

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The Iranian spokesperson explained that Velayati's visit to Moscow was in line with such a policy and noted that he would also travel to China.

Facing revived sanctions from the United States and the possible knock-on collapse of its business dealings with Europe, Iran is looking to Russian Federation and China for investment and to purchase its oil.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who views Iran as Israel's arch-enemy and strongly backs Trump's decision to quit the nuclear deal, was also visiting Moscow on Wednesday.

"Therefore, his presence or absence in Russian Federation has no effect on our strategic mission", he added.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence on its doorstep in neighbouring Syria.

Amir-Abollahian said Netanyahu was likely to ask for Putin's help to push Iran's military advisers out of Syria but added that this was an issue that could only be decided between Tehran and Damascus.

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