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Iran Admits to Backing Terrorism

Iran Admits to Backing Terrorism

Thursday, 1 February, 2018 - 12:30
Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's top adviser on international affairs, smiles as he listens to questions from the media during a news conference, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

The top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei said on Thursday the country's leadership had no intention “to abandon” its support for Lebanon’s “Hezbollah,” the Syrian regime and Houthi insurgents in Yemen.

"Iran's influence in the region is inevitable and to remain a key player in the region, this influence will continue," the adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

“Iran does not plan to abandon the oppressed countries in the region… our presence in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon is in coordination with the governments of those countries,” he added.

“Iran is at the heart of international developments… and the US wants to tear the Middle East apart… and Iran opposes that,” he declared.

Tehran backs head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad, Houthi rebels and “Hezbollah.”

US President Donald Trump, who sees Iran as a rising threat to regional stability in the Middle East, has pledged to curb Tehran’s attempts to extend its influence in the region.

Velayati also criticized slogans that were chanted during recent popular protests in Iran that called on Tehran to address the people’s concerns instead of focusing on Palestine and Syria.

Such slogans, he said “demonstrate your lack of understanding of foreign affairs. We cannot but care about a fire burning in a neighbor’s house.”

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