Speaking to reporters during his weekly press conference, Qassemi noted that Iran’s goal of presence in Syria is fighting terrorism, stressing that as long as the threat of terrorism exists and the Syrian government demands, Iran would continue to help the country, IRNA reported.
“Those who entered Syria without the permission of the Syrian government are the ones who must leave the country.”
“No one can force Tehran to do something, because Iran has its own independent policies, the spokesman said in response to a question about reports that Russia has urged Iran to leave Syria, which was later denied by Moscow.
Russia and Iran have been supporting the Arab country in its fight against terrorist groups during past seven years.
Ties with Baghdad after polls
Qassemi also hailed the growing relations between Tehran and Baghdad and expressed optimism that the ties would further develop with the formation of a new government in the Arab country after the recent parliamentary polls, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“Given the good relations with Iraq, we will not have a problem with this country’s (future) government,” he said, adding, “I am optimistic about the (recent) elections and the formation of the government…”
“We regard Iraq as an independent country and respect the votes of the Iraqi people, and anyone who takes the helm of the government (in Iraq), we will have no problem...” the spokesman stated.
On May 12, Iraqis voted in the first parliamentary election since the country declared victory over the Daesh terrorist group at the end of 2017.
The Iranian official also dismissed accusations that Iran has been helping a Taliban push in an Afghan province bordering Iran, saying the claim is instigated by US commanders who try to divert public opinion from the real cause of the flare-up in violence, Press TV reported.
Fighting has continued in Farah Province on the border with Iran where the insurgents came close to overrunning the provincial capital, prompting its police chief to echo US claims that Iran was supporting the Taliban.
“The Taliban's attack on Afghan cities and their recapture by government forces is not a new thing and is not related to good relations between the two neighboring countries,” Qassemi said.
Taliban militants with heavy weapons and night-vision equipment fought their way close to the center of the western city of Farah last week.
Local residents had for months warned that the city was vulnerable and the attack threatened a repeat of the Taliban’s capture of the northern city of Kunduz in 2015.
Taliban fighters on Sunday closed in on another district in the Afghan Province of Ghazni, which is far from the Iranian border.
On Saturday, top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson visited Farah. Local officials complain about the failure to protect the city and the province, where the Taliban control many areas.
Qassemi said, “US commanders who have been unable to establish security in Afghanistan after years of massive military presence and shedding the blood of thousands of innocent people are trying to deflect the public opinion of Afghanistan from the real reasons behind the perpetuation of the war by accusing the Islamic Republic of supporting the Taliban.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has been standing for nearly four decades alongside the friendly and brotherly government and people of Afghanistan to defend their sovereignty and independence, and the statements made to satisfy outsiders and invaders have no congruity with these friendly relations,” he added.