Iran's Rohani to Macron: Tehran Not Ruling Out Military Withdrawal From Syria

Rohani and France's Macron held a telephone call late Tuesday in which they also discussed the nuclear deal; Macron tells the Iranian leader that Europe and China still support accord

A combination of file photos showing French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rohani.
\ Reuters Staff/ REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said late Tuesday that he had not ruled out the withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria.

Speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone, Rohani said he hoped for the roots of terrorism in Syria to wither as soon as possible.

"That would mean there was no need for the presence of foreign troops in Syria," he said during the call, according to a statement from his office.

Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia are the most important allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria has especially increased tensions in the Middle East. 

>> Iranian forces reportedly pose as Syrian soldiers to evade Israel

Israel considers itself threatened by Iranian rockets that it says have been stationed in Syria.

During a meeting with Assad in Sochi last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that all foreign troops pull out from Syria following "major progress" made by the Syrian army in the fight against terrorism.

Macron and Rohani also discussed the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, with Macron repeating that France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China still backed the agreement despite the U.S.' recent withdrawal.

Macron hoped that "Iran would continue to fulfil its obligations without any ambiguity," according to a statement from the Elysee Palace.

The French president also suggested another ministerial-level meeting on the nuclear deal in response to a request from Rohani, the Elysee said.