Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
An Iranian official says the US and its allies sought an “engineered revolution” in Syria by sending al-Qaeda operatives to the country to overthrow the Syrian government.
“The US and its allies pursued an engineered revolution in Syria,” Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday.
“By their own admission, Americans sent a group of al-Qaeda forces to Syria based on the analysis that they can overthrow the government of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad and will be reined in later,” the Iranian official said.
“However, they later realized that they had made a big mistake like their [other] mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Amir-Abdollahian added.
He said although the Syrian government requires reforms like many other Arab countries, the Syrian people should determine their destiny themselves.
“Neither we nor our friends in the region nor any other country can decide for the Syrian people,” the Iranian official said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and 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 are foreign nationals.
Damascus says the West and its regional allies, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants.