Advisor to FM: Erdogan, Assad Both Enjoy Legitimacy
EghtesadOnline: The same rules that make Recep Tayyip Erdogan the legitimate president of Turkey apply to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad as well since both have been elected to office through public voting, Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.
"Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad are the legal presidents of the two important countries of Turkey and Syria who have ascended to power through public vote and democracy," Amir Abdollahian, now a senior advisor to the Iranian foreign minister, said in an interview with the Iran-based Arabic-language al-Alam news channel on Sunday.
Stressing Iran's condemnation of the recent coup against the Turkish government, he said, "Our support for the Turkish president, government and people against the coup plotters means support for an important neighbor, a strategic ally and democracy."
Amir Abdollahian also referred to the situation in Syria in which the Takfiri terrorists and the Zionists have launched a war to topple the legal government with the help of extensive foreign supports, and said, "Tehran considers this move a violation of democracy and trampling over the Syrian people's vote, and it strenuously supports Syria's legal president, people and army against the terrorists' attacks and sees this support as a major contribution to collective security in the region."
An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble on Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.
After the coup, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif twitted his "deep concerns" over the status quo in neighboring Turkey. In a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday morning, Zarif discussed the latest developments in Turkey after the failed coup d'etat.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi reiterated the country's severe concerns over Turkey's security and stability after the coup, and said Tehran supports the elected Turkish government.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues the developments in its neighboring country highly precisely and sensitively," Qassemi said on Saturday.
Referring to Zarif's three phone calls with his Turkish counterpart since the start of the crisis from last midnight to Saturday noon, he said, "We are deeply concerned about stability, security, unity, democracy and the rule of the law in Turkey."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the publically-elected government and advises (all sides) not to resort to violence," Qassemi said.
Stressing that Iran prioritizes stability, security and democracy in Turkey, he expressed the hope that full stability and tranquility would return to the country as soon as possible.
Also Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi underlined that his country is closely monitoring the political and military developments in neighboring Turkey.
"Iranian police, security and intelligence forces are on alert, and Iran's common borders with Turkey are fully controlled," Alavi said.
Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani said that Tehran supports President Erdogan's government because it has been elected by the people, adding that Iran's support for the Syrian government derives from the same fact.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's position on such phenomena and events has always been respect for people's choice compared with forceful control, meaning that rejecting coups and supporting the governments elected based on people's real vote is always our principled and fixed policy on the governmental structures," Shamkhani said on Saturday.
Turkey is no exception in this regard, he said, and stressed that Iran prefers a government elected through people's vote to a failed, flawed and unpopular government that has ascended to power through a coup.
"This, of course, is not just limited to Turkey and it is the reason for our presence in Syria too," Shamkhani underscored.