Iran Opposes Any Foreign Intervention In Syria

Iran's supreme leader said Thursday Tehran opposes any intervention by foreign forces in Syria's internal affairs, local media reported.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (r.) meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the northwestern city of Mashhad, Iran, Thursday.

TEHRAN - Iran's supreme leader said Thursday Tehran opposes any intervention by foreign forces in Syria's internal affairs, local media reported.

"The Islamic Republic will defend Syria because of its support for the resistance line against the Zionist regime (of Israel) and is vehemently opposed to any intervention of foreign forces in Syria," Iran's satellite channel Press TV quoted Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as saying in a meeting with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the holy city of Mashhad on Thursday.

Iran supports reforms in Syria, and "the reforms which have been initiated in Syria should continue," Khamenei said.

He condemned the US initiatives in the region, saying "the Americans recognize no nation as an independent nation".

Earlier in the day, in a meeting with Erdogan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad said Iran and Turkey should broaden their relations in political, economic, and cultural fields, as well as increase the volume of their trade transactions.

For his part, Erdogan called for further expansion of the bilateral cooperation between Iran and Turkey in different areas.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, the Turkish prime minister arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for a two-day visit for talks on bilateral ties, recent regional developments and Iran's controversial nuclear program. Erdogan arrived in Tehran after attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

Turkey has remained one of the major trade partners of Iran in the past decades and has been one of the main energy importers from the Islamic republic despite the US pressures on its allies to reduce oil transaction with the country.

Turkey also plays an active role in promoting the restart of nuclear talks between Tehran and related parties, proposing the talks to be held in Istanbul.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (G5+1) will be held on April 13, but the venue is yet to be decided.

In the past years, amid the Israeli threats to launch military attack on Iran's nuclear establishments, Turkish officials have reiterated their resolution to settle Iran's nuclear disputes through dialogue and have played an active role in this regard.

However, Iran's failure to give in to the Western pressures to halt its nuclear enrichment activities has created an standoff between Tehran and Western countries which suspect Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.