The head of the Revolutionary Guard general just hinted at a rift between Iran and Russia
The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has hinted at a conflict of interest between Russia and Iran over the fate of Bashar al-Assad, saying that Moscow’s intervention in Syria aims to secure its own interests.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, who claimed that most of the Syrian people support Assad,said “the northern friend [Russia] who came to Syria to [provide] military support recently [did so to serve] its [own] interests.”
“[Russia] may not care if Assad stays as we do, but in any case [Moscow] is present [in Syria] now and may be compelled to stay out of ‘embarrassment’ or for other reasons,” Al-Arabiya quoted him as saying.
Jafari also said that Iran “does not see any alternative to Assad” — a position he said was shared by the country’s supreme leader and the IRGC, according to the Saudi-owned channel.
“There are some who do not understand this and are talking about an alternative to Assad.”
Iranian news outlets carried similar versions of Jafari’s comments, which came during a speech delivered Monday at the “first Anti-America Forum” since the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was inked in mid-July.
The Arabic-language Al-Alam news outlet quoted Jafari as saying that “Russia is following its interests in Syria.”
“Assad’s remainder in power may not concern it as it concerns us, but in any case it is helping the resistance.”
Iran’s Mehr News Agency offered another version of Jafari’s quote, this time with him saying “our northern neighbor [Russia] is also providing assistance in Syria, but it is not happy with the Islamic resistance.”
“In any case it is providing assistance on the basis of [our] shared interests. But it is not clear that Russia is aligned with Iran with regard to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.”
Russia began its aerial bombardment campaign in Syria on September 30, striking rebels in the Homs, Hama, Latakia and Idlib provinces while also
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