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Iranian FM spokesman says their forces will not leave Syria

Published: Updated:

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday Iranian forces will not be leaving Syria but would continue fighting “terrorism” there, at the request of the Syrian government.

Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that no one can force Tehran to do anything it doesn’t desire to do.

“As long as there is a need (for Iran’s presence in Syria) and the danger of terrorism is there and the Syrian government demands that, Iran will continue to help the Syrian government,” he said.

“There is not much time left and we should find out as soon as possible what Europe can fulfil in terms of its commitments and if we consider that reassuring so that we can make the necessary decisions.”

Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said on Friday that the Russian president’s statement about the need for foreign troop pullout from Syria referred to Iran, Assad’s key regional ally.

Putin told Assad during a meeting on Thursday that a political settlement in Syria should encourage foreign countries to pull out their troops from Syria.

Russia and Iran have been Assad’s strongest backers and have joined the war on his side.