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Rafsanjani Admits Iran’s Involvement in Region’s Crises - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London-Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Iran is involved in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan to defend national interests.

Rafsanjani explained during an interview with Aftab News that Iran cannot leave these countries easily, adding that continuing what they have started with there is not an easy mission.

He considered Iran’s intervention in regional crises as one of the international challenges his country is facing.

He added by saying, “Arab and Islamic countries are united against Iran in Syria and now want to control things in Iraq.”

Moreover, Rafsanjani admitted that Iran is facing troubles in the region; adding that these problems should be solved by proper management in order to reach a suitable solution.

On the other hand, Rafsanjani called for Americans to be “flexible” with Iran for a few years in order to gain the confidence of the Iranian officials; thus normalizing U.S.-Iranian relations.

He also implicitly pointed out that Rouhani wants to meet U.S. President Barack Obama. But “Khamenei’s pressure exerted on the Iranian president,” in addition to the unsuitable circumstances, “prevents such meeting from taking place.”

Rafsanjani acknowledged the existence of profound differences in the Iranian leadership, accusing some officials of deceiving public opinion.

Three days ago, Commander of Iranian Quds Force Qassem Soleimani pointed out implicitly to the existence of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on the crises in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council defended Hassan Rouhani by explaining that one of his major political pledges, regarding ending the house arrest of Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, has not been met yet because it is out of the government’s powers.

Notably, Rouhani is passing through very critical times due to the increased pressure exerted on him and as a result of the long list of accusations directed by his allies and rivals.

In addition, Rafsanjani mentioned that Iran is facing great internal challenges because of the political disputes, unemployment, and inflation.

Iranian websites circulated news on Rafsanjani’s statements at the time when former Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Mohsen Rezaee attacked the Saudi foreign minister with racist terms.

Furthermore, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Amir Abdullahian said that Tehran is determined to continue playing its advisory role in the region, reiterating Iran’s continuous presence in Syria, according to IRNA official agency.

He explained on Monday that Iran, with pride and determination, continues its advisory support in the region, pointing out to Iran’s crucial role to guarantee security and stability in regional countries and the world.

Iran justifies its military presence in Syria and Iraq by considering itself playing an advisory role, yet it names its militants in these areas with ideological titles such as “Defending Shi’ite Shrines,” showing contradiction between the official speeches given in Iran and the involved institutions that are sending armed militants to Arab countries.

In a common matter, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani defended Iran’s decision to intervene in Syria and Iraq.