Ali Larijani

The head of Iranian Parliament arrived in Turkey today for the last leg of a trip that’s also taken him to Lebanon and Syria.

In Beirut, Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, told reporters: “We have a difference of opinion with Turkey over the Syrian issue…. We believe Syrian conflicts must be resolved away from external disputes through a convergence of all Syrian forces.”

Iran has been a staunch supporter of the Beshar Assad government throughout the past 20 months of unrest, while the Turkish government has chosen to support the opposition forces.

Larijani said Iran is trying to transform the diverging opinions between Iran and Turkey into a bilateral solution.

Most recently, the two countries have been at odds over the possible deployment of NATO’s air defence system on Turkey’s border with Syria.

Ali Larijani is the highest-ranking Iranian political figure to visit Syria, Lebanon and Turkey since conflict erupted this month between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas and its allies claim that the current ceasefire can be seen as a victory for their side.

On this trip, Larijani once again expressed Iran’s support for Palestinian groups and overtly admitted to helping to arm these groups.