Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami blamed Washington, DC’s “conspiracies” against the Islamic Revolution of 1979 for the emergence of Islamic State terrorism in Syria and Iraq, where Iran has a strong presence, in remarks Sunday.
“What happened in Iraq and Syria was within the framework of a series of plots hatched by the Americans against the Islamic Revolution since its victory (in 1979),” Hatami reportedly said during a meeting with the commanders of the Axis of Resistance in Syria where he was to promote Tehran-Damascus military cooperation and coordinate the fight against terrorism. “We need to be fully prepared to thwart” these conspiracies, he added, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim News agency.
The publication reported that Hatami’s “remarks come as Syrian forces continue to reclaim much of southern parts of the country and are poised to soon launch an offensive in Idlib, one of the last remaining areas outside of Damascus’ control.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has continuously suggested that the United States created the Islamic State.
During his visit to Syria, Hatami also met with President Bashar al Assad and signaled continued support for him and his government in the face of foreign scrutiny.
Iran has a heavy military presence in Syria. Hatami reportedly “said Iran and Syria have strong and stable relations and all rumors and negative propaganda about the two sides’ ties will leave no impact on the firm bilateral relations that have been founded since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.”
According to the Gatestone Institute, Iran controls over 70,000 troops in Syria. Of that number, at least 15,000 are Iranian soldiers and the rest are reportedly members of 10 different militias, including Hezbollah and the “Palestinians.”
During his meeting with Assad, Hatami reportedly said Iran will continue to support Syria’s government to ensure improved security in the region an said no “third party” would interfere with this support.
Iran also has economic incentives in Syria.
On Sunday, Hatami told reporters in Damascus, “We hope to have active partnership in the reconstruction of Syria.” Seven months earlier, in January, Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said “Incentive packages have been considered for the Iranian companies in development projects of Syria.”