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Iran Will Leave Syria, Iraq Only If Baghdad, Damascus Want It, Aide To Khamenei Says

RUSSIA -- MOSCOW REGION, JULY 12, 2018: Ali Akbar Velayati (L), senior adviser to the Supreme Leader of Iran for international affairs, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence.
MOSCOW, July 13 (Reuters)

A top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Iran would immediately withdraw its "military advisers" from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.

"Iran and Russia's presence in Syria will continue to protect the country against terrorist groups and America's aggression ... We will immediately leave if Iraqi and Syrian governments want it, not because of Israel and America's pressure," said Ali Akbar Velayati in a conference in Moscow.

Iran and Russia back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that a deal under which Russia would provide goods to Iran in exchange for oil is still possible.

Russia is studying all legal issues related to the possible deal, he said.

(With reporting by Oksana Kobzeva, writing by Parisa Hafezi, Polina Devitt, editing by Larry King, Jason Neely)