Iran leader wants Putin’s support against US

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for a united front between Iran and Russia to isolate the US.

Khamenei, who made the call while receiving the visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin, explained that the isolation of the United States will help stabilize the Middle East

Pragmatist Iranian President Hassan Rouhani echoed Khamenei, saying Iran and Russia together could tackle “regional terrorism” – an allusion to Sunni Muslim armed groups hostile to Iran, Assad and many other Arab states.

“Our cooperation can isolate America … The failure of U.S.-backed terrorists in Syria cannot be denied but Americans continue their plots,” Khamenei told Putin.

Since Russia’s military intervention in Syria’s war in 2015, and with stepped-up Iranian military assistance, Assad has taken back large amounts of territory from rebels as well as swathes of central and eastern Syria from Islamic State militants.

The rapprochement between Iran and Russia is worrying for both Saudi Arabia, Shi’ite Muslim Tehran’s main Sunni rival for dominance in the Middle East, and the United States.

Putin praised cooperation with Iran as “very productive”.

“We are managing to coordinate our positions on the Syrian issue,” Putin said.

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