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Russian, Syrian defense ministers arrive in Tehran for 'strategic meeting'

The defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran met in Tehran to discuss the latest regional developments and methods to "fight terrorism."

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Tehran on June 9 to meet with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan and Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij to discuss "regional developments and ways to strengthen and expand the fight against terrorism." According to Iranian media, "the strategic meeting" was called by Iran.

After the meeting, Dehghan discussed Iran's position on Syria and the region. On the cease-fires in Syria, which all sides have been accused of violating, Dehghan said, "We agree with cease-fires that do not result in the strengthening of terrorists in this country." Iranian officials refer to the armed opposition groups as terrorists and do not distinguish between the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other Salafi-Jihadi groups. Dehghan accused the United States, Saudi Arabia and other regional countries of "justifying the support of terrorists under the cover of supporting moderate rebels." He said that this support "proves the falsehood of [the United States] being against terrorism," and that "claimants of human rights are closing their eyes to the most immoral acts and crimes of terrorists" in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

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