The withdrawal of Iranian forces and units of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah from Syria is not on the discussion agenda, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told.
“This topic is not even on the agenda of discussion, since it concerns the sovereignty of Syria. We cannot let anyone even raise this issue. Those who ask for something like that — and this is definitely not our Russian friends — are considering the possibility of intervention in all parts of Syria, including the support of terrorists in Syria and elsewhere in the region,” Mikdad said.
According to the Syrian diplomat, Damascus “highly appreciates” the help of friendly forces from Russia and advisers from Iran and Hezbollah in the struggle against terrorists.
The statements by the United States about its intention to withdraw troops from Syria and replace them with Arab forces are aimed at drawing the Arab countries in direct conflict with Damascus, Mikdad said.
“The main goal of such statements is to pump the money out of the Arab countries. This will force them to pay more to the US treasury, which may be empty. As well as drawing the Arab states in direct conflict, as far as I can guess — with the Syrian government, and this is a dangerous situation,” Mikdad said.
According to Mikdad, Washington will ultimately not withdraw its troops.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo gave a keynote speech on US policy toward Iran, voicing 12 demands for Tehran to fulfill following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has slammed the address made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the world cannot accept that Washington makes unilateral decisions for all nations.
On May 8, Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and Treasury immediately began to reimpose all sanctions against Tehran. The JCPOA — signed by Iran, the P5+1 and the European Union in 2015 — requires that Tehran allow inspections to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.