Revolutionary Guards are ready to help rebuild Syria and bring about a lasting "ceasefire," Iran's state TV quotes the chief of the country's most powerful security entity.

Pupils walk on debris in al-Saflaniyeh in eastern Aleppo's countryside, Syria on September 17, 2017.
Pupils walk on debris in al-Saflaniyeh in eastern Aleppo's countryside, Syria on September 17, 2017. (Reuters)

Disarming Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group is out of the question, chief commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted as saying by state TV on Thursday.

His comments come amid high tensions between Hezbollah and its arch enemy Israel, which last fought a major conflict in 2006 that is widely seen as inconclusive.

The month-long war in 2006, that included incursion of Israeli soldiers into southern Lebanon, had killed around 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, most of them troops.

"Hezbollah must be armed to fight against the enemy of the Lebanese nation, which is Israel. Naturally they should have the best weapons to protect Lebanon's security. This issue is non-negotiable," Iranian state television quoted Jafari as saying.

Lucrative rewards

Jafari added that Iran's Revolutionary Guards are ready to help rebuild Syria and bring about a lasting "ceasefire" there. Iranian commanders have been active in the Syrian civil war in support of Bashar al Assad's regime forces.

"The guards are ready to play an active role in establishing a lasting ceasefire in Syria ... and reconstruction of the country," Jafari said.

Iran has signed large economic contracts with the Syrian regime, reaping what appear to be lucrative rewards for helping Tehran's main regional ally Bashar al Assad in his fight against rebel groups and Daesh militants.

"In meetings with the (Iran) government, it was agreed that the Guards were in a better position to help Syria's reconstruction ... the preliminary talks already have been held with the Syrian government over the issue," Jafari said.

Saudi tensions

Regional tensions have also risen in recent weeks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry has wrought upheaval Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. 

Saudi Arabia, which backs opposition forces in Syria, has accused Hezbollah of helping Houthi forces in Yemen and playing a role in a ballistic missile attack on the kingdom earlier this month. Iran and Hezbollah have both denied the claims.

Iran also denies giving financial and military support to the Houthis in the struggle for Yemen, blaming the deepening crisis on Riyadh. 

"Iran only provides advisory and spiritual assistances to Yemen ... and this help will continue," he said.

"Resistance front"

Jafari praised the success of Iranian allies across the region, hailing a "resistance front" from Tehran to Beirut and calling on Riyadh to avoid confronting this grouping.

"We directly deal with global arrogance and Israel, not with their emissaries... That is why we do not want to have direct confrontation with Saudi Arabia," he said. The term global arrogance refers to the US.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinmetz said earlier this month that Israel has had covert contacts with Riyadh amid common concerns over Iran, a rare disclosure by a senior official from either country of long-rumored secret dealings.

But Israel dismissed claims that it is planning military action against Hezbollah at the behest of Saudi Arabia.

“We are not interested in an escalation with Lebanon,” Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the security cabinet, told Reuters about the accusation of Israeli-Saudi collusion.

Iran's nuclear program

Jafari repeated Iran's stance on its disputed ballistic missile work, saying Tehran’s missile programme is for defensive purposes and not up for negotiation.

The programme was not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

"Iran will not negotiate its defensive program ... there will be no talks about it," he said.

"(French president Emmanuel) Macron's remarks over our missile work is because he is young and inexperienced."

Macron said earlier this month that Tehran should be less aggressive in the region and should clarify the strategy around its ballistic missile program.

Source: Reuters