An Iranian lawmaker says the recent abduction of Iranian pilgrims by insurgents in Syria is to put pressure on Tehran in a bid to undercut the Islamic Republic’s support for the Syrian government.
“Syrian insurgents are an organized military force supported by the US, EU and countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey; thus, the abduction of the Iranian pilgrims in Syria has been carried out by them,” Ebrahim Aqa-Mohammadi, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Wednesday.
“The aim of the abduction of the Iranian pilgrims is to put pressure on Iran and to allege that the Islamic Republic interferes in Syria so that they will be able to gradually diminish Iran's moral support of the legitimate Syrian government,” he said.
He added that Western countries accuse Iran of interfering in Syria to overshadow their support as well as their arming of Syrian insurgents.
Aqa-Mohammadi said Western states seek to topple the Syrian government by any possible means, including supplying insurgents with arms.
On August 4, 48 Iranians, traveling on a bus from Damascus International Airport to the shrine of Hazrat Zeinab (AS) on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, were abducted by insurgents.
Iran has asked Turkey and Qatar to help secure the release of the kidnapped Iranian pilgrims.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also urged the international body to act immediately to obtain the release of the Iranian nationals.