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Axis of resistance expanding in region: Senior cleric

Damascus, Representative of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Syria emphasized that the axis of resistance has been developed as a result of recent victories in the Middle East.

Ayatollah Seyyed Abolfazl Tabataba'i Ashkzari made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in Damascus.

'The development of the axis of resistance in the region has led to expand to other region, and Syria plays a preeminent role at this juncture,' he said.

Pointing out that the media did not play a deserving role in relation to resistance and the aftermath of the Syrian crisis, senior cleric went on to say, 'Over past years, they have been disseminating news of conflicts and wars and fronts in Syria, but this was only at that juncture, and it should be kept in mind that resistance and war and life behind the frontline were also ongoing on.'

Tabataba'i Ashkzari said that one of the most important needs to be addressed in Syria after the crisis is to strengthen the sense of patriotism among various ethnic groups.

'Syria is a country that hosts various religions, cultures and civilizations, and has different religions and, as they played role in the crisis, they must now play their role,' representative of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Syria said.

Tabataba'i Ashkzari has been the representative of the supreme leader in Syria during the past four years, half of which has been at the height of the country's crisis.

He has been closely following some developments in Syria, especially in recent years, and has seen many of these years' events closely related to some of the conflicts in the Zeinabiya area of Damascus and its surroundings.

'The crisis in Syria was not an internal crisis, but a sedition beyond a country, and indeed one could say that the sedition of the arrogant front, along with some Arab states in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, they were present in Syria with their assets and mercenaries, and this front was against the resistance front,' the highranking Iranian official went on to say.

'Now at the beginning of a new era in Syria; in other words postISIS and postwar Syrian phase we believe that a cultural cornerstone is emerging in the region of resistance, and that is the civilization of people who are derived from moderate Islam and not Takfiri, extremist Islam and extremism.'

The official added that the enemy today in Syria is trying to make the followers of different religions and ethnic groups pessimistic by fomenting disagreements, so that perhaps they can attain their goals at this stage where in the previous stage did not.

He said that if Muslims, Christians and other followers of religions in Syria know this country as their homeland, they can win victories in the future and successfully pass this stage.

Tabataba'i Ashkzari Highlighted that one of the works that was carried out with the efforts of the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Ministry of Endowments of Syria, the Syrian Scholar's Association, the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, was the holding of a scholarly' meeting with the presence of 500 Shia and Sunni scholars from countries like Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Iran.

This gathering has a 14year history and the theme of this year is the role of the scholars in influencing the sense of nationalism and preservation of the homeland.

The senior Iranian senior cleric emphasized, The enemy wants to bring us into sectarian conflicts, because the principle of support for ISIS and Takfiris was also for the breakdown of Syria, and because they did not succeed, today wants to seek in a new way a cultural front and foment the religious and ethnic divisions in the country, and wants to divide Syria into ethnic and religious terms, which will not succeed in this area either.'

The senior Iranian official emphasized that the United States is the world's largest terrorist state. America's crimes in recent decades in different parts of the world prove that this country is the largest terrorist state.

He added that the recent decision of US President Donald Trump regarding the inclusion of the name of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in the list of terrorist groups, is hypocritical in the context of the record of US crimes in the world. The decision has targeted a national, legitimate, and popular institution in a legitimate government such as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

'The main reason for Trump's decision is that the IRGC hhas been able to confront the ISIS terrorist group and now President Trump has taken such action against the IRGC for this region,' he noted.

The official said that 'we should warn about the risks and consequences of this decision on the security of the world, and not just on Iran's security or axis of resistance. Maybe the silence of the countries of the world can make Trump with its stupid decisions blacklist some of world's official armies.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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