Friday Aug 03, 201206:18 PM GMT
No military solution to Syria crisis: Senior Iranian official
Insurgents take part in a training session outside the Western Syrian city of Homs. (File photo)
Insurgents take part in a training session outside the Western Syrian city of Homs. (File photo)
Fri Aug 3, 2012 6:8PM
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Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reiterated Tehran’s full support for a peaceful solution to the unrest in Syria, ruling out a military option.


“We believe that there is no military solution to the current developments in Syria,” Amir-Abdollahian told reporters on Friday.

The Iranian official denounced attempts made by the US and some regional states to smuggle heavy weaponry into Syria, saying foreign-fueled insecurity and continued violence has led to a stronger presence of al-Qaeda, among other terrorist groups, in the country, IRNA reported.

“Tens of thousands of weapons have been smuggled into Syria via neighboring countries, part of which has fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda members in Syria,” he stated, criticizing the US and other regional states for failing to secure the borders they control.

Amir-Abdollahian noted how the Syrian army resisted days of heavy attacks aimed at wringing control of the capital, Damascus, out of the government’s hand, and is now clearing the city of Aleppo of insurgents in the next phase.

The deputy foreign minister warned that biased foreign support for “one of the warring sides in Syria” will contribute to the spread of insecurity across the whole region.

He also expressed regret over the attempts made by a number of UN Security Council Member states and regional countries to ground the six-point peace plan proposed by the special UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who was forced to resign amid flaring violence in Syria.

Amir-Abdollahian, meanwhile, downplayed the possibilty of a direct military operation against Syria, and said even if a war did erupt, Damascus would not need Tehran’s help.

“Syria has been fully prepared for years to respond to any invasion by the Zionist regime [of Israel] or any other country and is capable of responding to any military attack, relying on its own capacities.”

Regarding the crisis in Bahrain, Amir-Abdollahian voiced Tehran's concerns over the growing use of chemical weapons and the continued use of violence in the regime crackdown against popular protests.

He denounced Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the tiny Persian Gulf nation as a “strategic mistake,” and called for national dialogue and confidence-building measures as the only way out of the unrest.

Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran “strongly rejects” the international community’s paradoxical stance toward Bahrain and Syria, and called for a “logical” approach toward the developments in the Middle East.

MRS/HMV/SS
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