Russian Federation ready to invest $50B in Iranian oil and gas sector

Syrian Army

The Iranian presence in Syria is expected to top the agenda of Monday's summit in Helsinki between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ali Akbar Velayati, while visiting Moscow on July 13, also rejected USA and Israeli demands that Iran's military get out of Syria, saying that will happen only if the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asks Iran to go.

Velayati, who was Iran's foreign minister at the time of the terrorist attack and has been implicated in ordering the bombing, is now an adviser on global affairs to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A US State Department official said this month that Washington's goal was to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports.

Tehran and Moscow share common interests, and Iran-Russia cooperation in helping Syria counter terrorism is an "exemplary model of cooperation", Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, was quoted as saying by Tehran Times daily.

President Bashar Assad, with military and political assistance from Iran and Russian Federation, has recaptured 60 percent of the country, putting an end to any serious talk of regime change.

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US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russian Federation - plus Germany.

Velayati also strongly warned Russian Federation against listening to the US arguments about the Iranian presence in Syria.

In a Thursday interview with VOA Persian from Moscow, Netanyahu's Arab media spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said Russian Federation "understands" Israeli concerns about the Iranian military presence in Syria. Israel captured the western part of Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and repelled Syrian forces that tried to take it back in 1973, when Bashar Assad's late father, Hafez Assad, led the country.

The Israeli military downed a suspected Syrian military drone Friday as it reportedly flew over the occupied Golan Heights in southwestern Syria, just one day after the government reclaimed a city that helped spark the country's devastating seven-year civil war. The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme. That incident came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran.

In his view, if Russian Federation and Iran withdraw from Syria, "terrorists will come there".

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