Monday, 21 January 2013

Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader's Top Advisor Draws A "Red Line" on Syria

0605 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Economic tensions rumbled along on Sunday, with Parliament voting for an enquiry into the Central Bank and unconfirmed reports that Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani had offered his resignation.

However, the Supreme Leader's advisor on foreign policy, Ali Akbar Velayati, seized the headlines with a forthright declaration on Syria. He told a Lebanese TV station that any effort to force President Assad from power is a "red line" for Tehran:

 

The main reason behind our focus on the Syrian issue is to prevent the fall of the resistance line against Israel. If Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, falls the resistance line against Israel will break up.

Velayati added that Iran's support for Assad did not mean that it was "neglecting the Syrian nation’s right to choose their rulers" and said, “We believe in the necessity of reforms in Syria based on the demands of the Syrian nation without recourse to violence and any US support.” 

 But it was the warning against outside intervention that dominated the comments of the advisor, a former Foreign Minister: “Certain reactionary states like Qatar supplied terrorists with arms, and with the aim of overthrowing Assad…recruited gunmen from Somalia and Afghanistan to commit massacres and this is an indication of foreign conspiracies.” 

 

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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