Raeisi made the remarks in an interview with Syria’s official SANA news agency and Syria TV broadcast on Friday as he wrapped up a historic visit to Damascus, the first by an Iranian president since the foreign-backed militancy gripped the Arab country in 2011.
He said the Americans occupied some areas in Syria to plunder its resources in an attempt to achieve what they could not through terrorism.
“Syria is not a poor country but a rich one with its people, agriculture, and underground resources; it can witness a huge economic growth,” the president stated.
He said the US and some Western states allied with the Israeli regime could never weaken the Syrian military so they have resorted to an economic blockade. Raeisi said the Syrian people’s resistance would surely thwart that scheme.
The Iranian president said despite threats and sanctions, Syria is on the right path.
Raeisi said Syria is at the forefront of resistance against Israeli greed and aggression, adding that restoration of Syrian sovereignty over all its territories would alleviate the concerns of Syria’s neighboring countries.
“There should not be any presence of Turkish troops in any Syrian territory,” Raeisi said.
Pointing to relations between Iran and Syria, Raeisi said the two countries opened a new chapter in mutual ties after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Tehran and Damascus, he said, have been steadily developing ties, as “the axis of evil”, led by the Zionist entity and the United States, weaved various conspiracies against Syria.
Resistance against Israel and support for the Palestinians, Raeisi said, have become the hallmark of Iran’s foreign policy. As declared by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian president said, Palestine is the top priority of the Muslim world.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi pointed to the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and said the restoration of relations between the two countries will tip the balance in the region.