Supreme Leader’s Advisor Visits Lebanon, Syria

May 20, 2015

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, affirmed Tehran’s support for Damascus and Hezbollah during visits to Syria and Lebanon. On May 18, Velayati met with Lebanese officials, including Prime Minister Tammam Salam, and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. He praised Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shiite political party and militia, for achieving “great progress and excellent victories alongside the brave Syrian army.” The next day, Velayati met with Syrian president Bashar al Assad in Damascus. Assad told Velayati that Iran’s support for Syria “constitutes a key pillar in the battle against terrorism.”

Iran has been Assad’s most powerful regional ally since the 2011 uprising. Velayati was the third Iranian official to visit Damascus in less than a week, following visits by the head of the Syrian-Iranian economic commission and the chairman of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi.
The following are quotes from Iranian and Syrian officials during Velayati’s visit.
Senior Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati
On Syria:
"Strategic relations [between Damascus and Tehran] constitute one of the essential pillars in confronting Western projects... and the illusions... of certain regional countries."
Iran will "continue to support Syria by all means” and "a small world war is being waged against Syria.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
"No doubt these actions [to arm Syrian opposition groups] will backfire on these countries, and their ominous illusions and dreams for controlling the region, creating strife and even disintegrating certain countries will never come true."
"The same way that the Syrian nation has defused all enemies' plots in both areas of politics and war so far, they will not allow the enemies achieve their goals through psychological war in future and they will emerge victorious from this imposed crisis."
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
“Iran is determined to continue to stand by Syria and supporting it with whatever is needed to reinforce the resistance its people are showing in defending the country and fighting terrorism.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
On Lebanon and Hezbollah:
“Takfiri groups and extremists supported by certain regional countries are trying to depict a violent image of Islam and are even planning to disintegrate some Islamic countries.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
“We are filled with pride and appreciation when we see that in recent days, the valiant Lebanese resistance (Hezbollah) has achieved great progress and excellent victories alongside the brave Syrian army.”
“We believe this will strengthen the axis of resistance, not just in Syria and Lebanon, but in the whole region.”
“We hope, with God’s will, to see the day when some regional powers will stop supporting and harboring these evil, unjust forces, whether in Syria or Lebanon, and to stop providing a haven for them –- so that we can return harmony, security and stability to all of Syria and Lebanon.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
"The resistance, which achieved great victories against the Zionist entity, will win in the battlefield like before." (referencing Hezbollah's advancements in Qalamoun)
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
“We are glad to see that the Lebanese have been able to agree on consolidating national unity and moving forward in confronting Israel and extremist forces.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
“Resolving the political problems in Lebanon concerns the Lebanese themselves. We are totally confident that thanks to Lebanon’s deep-rooted democracy, it will eventually find a suitable exit and an appropriate solution to fill the presidential void.”
"The meeting was a chance to hold with the Prime Minister a series of positive and constructive talks. During the meeting, I perceived harmony in viewpoints regarding the good bilateral relations between Lebanon and the Islamic Republic of Iran. These are excellent and strategic ties with major influence on the current political developments in the region.”
"Within this frame, I would like to confirm that during the tenure of Prime Minister Tammam Salam, the latter managed to enjoy wisdom in order to solve many problems and issues. We hope that a solution would be son reached to the presidential vacuum ordeal.”
"I told the Prime Minister that Iran relied on the prevailing agreement ambiance and rapprochement to face the Takfiris.”

"For his part, the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the constructive role assumed by the Islamic Republic of Iran as a friendly country for Lebanon, in terms of the efforts exerted on the Lebanese and Arab levels.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press



Syrian President Bashar al Assad
“The axis of resistance has been formed in the region and no one can break it and we will, no doubt, be the winning side, and the supports extended by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and some other countries to the terrorists has, thus far, failed to annihilate the resistance, and God willing, we will witness growing victories and of course, these victories were not possible without the Islamic Republic of Iran's supports.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press
"The support given by Iran to the Syrian people constitutes a key pillar in the battle against terrorism.”
—May 19, 2015, according to the press