Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (R) speaks at a joint news conference with his Omani counterpart Yousef bin Alawi in Tehran, Wednesday, January 30, 2013.
Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says foreign-backed “mercenaries” are spreading chaos in Syria.
“It is clear to everyone that those committing atrocities in Syria are mercenaries who have come from outside Syria and have been armed and are fighting against the Syrian government,” Salehi said Wednesday in a joint press conference with his Omani counterpart Yousef bin Alawi.
“All power plants, silos, factories, institutes and organizations serving people have been destroyed by these terrorists,” the Iranian minister added.
Salehi noted that people are the ones suffering from the problems caused by the the Syrian crisis in the past two years.
“However, the [present] conditions are such that the people are currently standing against the mercenaries, and wherever the government retakes an area [from militants] the people support it themselves,” he said.
The minister added that the “real opposition” in Syria is seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in the country.
“Today, we are witnessing the growth of peace-seeking opposition in Syria that wants [to find] a practical and logic solution [which would be] in line with the interests of the Syrian people,” said Salehi.
“We still believe that there is no solution other than dialogue between the opposition and the Syrian government and the formation of a transitional government,” he added.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
On January 14, an international aid agency said the conflict in Syria is causing a "staggering humanitarian crisis" in the Middle East.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said in a 23-page report that more than 600,000 Syrians have fled the country because of violence, including gang rape.