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EghtesadOnline: Iran has urged Turkey not to go ahead with its planned military operation in Syria and called for respecting the territorial integrity of the war-torn Arab state.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said it has been following "worrying news of the possibility of Turkish military forces entering Syrian soil and believes that such an action would not only fail to end Turkey's security concerns but would cause widespread material and human damage," ISNA reported. 

It said Iran is opposed to any military action of that kind in Syria and urges all the parties involved to respect Syria's territorial integrity and national sovereignty, Financial Tribune reported.

Turkey said on Tuesday it had completed preparations for a military operation in northeastern Syria after the United States began pulling back troops, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington, according to Reuters. 

But, despite an apparent green light, US President Donald Trump warned he would "obliterate" the NATO ally's economy if it took action in Syria that he considered "off limits" following his decision on Sunday to pull 50 American special forces troops from the border region. 

In an apparent response to Trump's warning, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Tuesday Ankara will not bow to threats over its Syria plans, AP reported.

 

 

Adana Agreement

The Foreign Ministry expressed Tehran's readiness to help improve the situation through "peaceful" means, adding that the Adana agreement should serve as the basis for any negotiations. 

According to AP, Ankara and Damascus signed the agreement in 1998 to ease tensions after Turkey threatened Syria with military action if it did not expel Turkish-Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, from its soil.

Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, which talks have run parallel to UN efforts to find a solution to the years-long conflict.

The ministry also criticized Washington's "illegitimate" military presence in Syria, saying that the decision to pull out US forces should have been made much earlier.

 

 

Best Approach

In a separate development, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed Iran's opposition to military action in Syria during a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, late on Monday. 

The Iranian minister urged respect for Syria's territorial integrity and national sovereignty, and emphasized the need for the fight against terrorism and promotion of stability and security in Syria, the Foreign Ministry reported. 

Zarif also said implementing the Adana agreement is "the best approach for Syria and Turkey and for addressing their concerns."

According to the ministry, Cavusoglu said the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria would be "temporary", adding that his country respects Syria's territorial integrity. 

In a tweet on Monday, Iran's top diplomat described the United States as an "occupier" in Syria.

"The US is an irrelevant occupier in Syria, [so it’s] futile to seek its permission or rely on it for security," he said. "Achieving peace & fighting terror in Syria will only succeed thru respect for its territorial integrity & its people." 

He also said the Islamic Republic is ready to contribute to the improvement of the situation. 

"Adana provides a framework for Turkey & Syria—Iran ready to help," he wrote. 

 

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