Bahram Ghasemi on May 21, in response to a question about recent reports of Russia’s call for the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria replied:
” Nobody can force Iran to do something against its will, Iran is an independent country that pursues its policies according to its own interests.
The presence of Iran was with the invitation of the Syrian government to fight against terrorism and defend the territorial integrity of Syria and Iran will help Syria as long as Syria wants it.
All those should leave Syria who entered the territory of the country without the approval of the Syrian government.”
On May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Sochi, Russia.
During the visit, Vladimir Putin emphasized the withdrawal of foreign forces from Syria; however Putin did not specify precisely what he meant, but the next day Russian presidential envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that the Iranian forces and the resistance forces should also leave Syria.
These words, while caused a wave of reactions from Syrian allies, denied by the Syrian government media.
Following this, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the foreign forces that are supposed to leave Syria are those forces that are “illegally” in the country.
So today, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, while stressing the presence of Iran in Syria, said Iran was not among the countries that entered the country without the consent of the Syrian government and will remain in Syria as long as needed.