World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran's foreign ministry on Monday denied remarks by the Revolutionary Guards commander-in-chief that members of the country's military forces were present in Syria and Lebanon, according to Arabic language Al Alam television.
In comments published by Iranian media on Sunday, Mohammad Ali Jafari said members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were providing non-military assistance in Syria and Lebanon, adding that Tehran might get involved militarily in Syria if its closest ally came under attack.
"Reports by some Arabic and Western media, citing ... Jafari were selective, false and with political aims," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Iran's Al Alam television.
"Iran has no military presence in the region, especially in Syria," Mehmanparast added.
It was not immediately possible to clarify the apparent contradiction between Mehmanparast and Jafari's position.
Jafari's comments had been the first official acknowledgement that Iran had military personnel on the ground in Syria.
Mehmanparast's denial hinted that Jafari's comments had caused problems for Iran, which was asked by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman earlier in the day to assure that its Revolutionary Guards had no presence in his country now.