An international agreement on Iran's nuclear program will not alter Tehran's staunch support for the Syrian government and may even strengthen Damascus, Syria's foreign minister said Friday.
Speaking at a conference in Damascus on "confronting terrorism," Walid Muallem said those who hoped to persuade Iran to abandon Syria's government would be disappointed, according to AFP.
"There is a lot of talk about the Iranian nuclear agreement and its impact on the Syrian crisis," he said.
"There are those, led by the United States, who think that this agreement will enable the West to influence Iran's positions on the Syrian crisis," Muallem added, dismissing that as "delusional."
"Iran's attitudes on the crisis in Syria have not changed," the minister said.
Tehran "provided all kinds of support to the Syrian people in their struggle against terrorism before the nuclear deal, and during it, and will
continue to do so after it."
In fact, he said, the agreement could end up strengthening Syria.
"Iran has entered the world stage through the widest doors, and the more powerful our ally is, the more powerful we are."
Syria's remarks surface just as US President Barack Obama admitted in a BBC interview on Friday that the deal gives billions of dollars to Iran's terror network.
"Iran has shown itself to be willing, even in the midst of real hardship, to fund what they consider to be strategy priorities," he said, after denying that the money is actually the cause of regional terror.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D – California) added Thursday that Iran is due to get some $56 billion from the deal, and that Iran will "absolutely" have more money to fund terrorism if the deal passes.
"Iran has proven very cost-effective in terms of supporting Hezbollah," he said. "They have been able to stretch a few dollars a long way, they'll have a lot more dollars."