Photo Credit: Mohammad Hassanzadeh via Wikimedia
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who participated in Thursday’s talks between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and United States National Security Advisor John Bolton, told TASS that Iran’s presence in Syria is legitimate, having been invited by the local tyrant, but added that there’s space for work on diminishing said presence.

Ryabkov revealed that the issue of Iran’s presence in Syria was discussed by his boss and Bolton in the broader context of the situation in the Middle East and in Syria, noting: “We’ve got many inconsistencies with the Americans in this area.”

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“Approaches are directly opposite in some cases, but here as well, which is important, there are grounds for continuing dialogue regarding Syria,” he said.

Speaking gingerly, the deputy foreign minister explained: “We treat with great respect Iran’s steps to provide its own security, and actions—including on Syria at the invitation of this country’s lawful government. However, this does not mean that there are no prospects or space for further work in this sphere.”

So which is it, Iran in Syria to help the stressed regime, or Iran in Syria to protect its own security? Don’t ask a diplomat for clear answers on such matters.

Ryabkov reiterated that Russia is working with Iran on Syria in the “Astana format,” meaning in cooperation with the third invader of Syrian territory – Turkey.

“In the near future, new contacts will take place, including on the Geneva platform, which we regard as an important component of greater work,” he said, admitting that those intimate Russia-Iran-Turkey meets in Sochi and Astana “cannot replace Geneva,” where the US, the fourth invader of Syria, will also participate.

He noted that “all these tracks complement each other,” adding: “We presume that Tehran has similar views on it.”

No, they really don’t.

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