Iran to US: ‘Get out of Syria’

Iran to US: ‘Get out of Syria’
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Senior Iranian officials reportedly called on the Trump administration to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, saying the civil war in that nation is one of the Islamic Republic’s top foreign policy priorities. 

“Whether they want to or not, the Americans must leave Syria,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Wednesday during a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in Tehran, according to Reuters.


“Now 90 percent of Syrian soil is under the control of the government and the rest will soon be freed by the Syrian army,” he added, the news service noted.

The comments come after President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE’s surprise December announcement that the Pentagon would begin withdrawing troops from Syria.

The decision sparked bipartisan backlash, fueling concerns that withdrawing from Syria could allow ISIS to regroup and leave a power vacuum for Iran and Russia, two prominent backers of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

“An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia. I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPortman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents MORE (R-S.C.), a foreign policy hawk and frequent ally of the president, said at the time.

Iran Wednesday also reportedly reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Assad in Syria. 

“One of the important regional and foreign policy goals of the Islamic Republic is the stability and complete security of Syria,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Moualem, according to Reuters.

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran will be meeting in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 14 to discuss the ongoing Syrian crisis, the news service noted.