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‘Iran not to allow US to use Syria crisis to change balance of power’

An Iranian deputy foreign minister has said that Iran will not allow the United States to take advantage of the crisis engulfing Syria to upset the balance of power in the region.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, made the remarks in an interview with RT, which was published on its website on March 8.

Asked about his opinion about the situation in Syria and the claims that Iran is sending weaponry to Syria to help suppress the protests, Amir-Abdollahian said, “We have strategic relations with Syria, which we see as an important state in the resistance axis. Our historical ties with the people and government of Syria give us a good insight into the nature of the Syrian people, who, because of their resistance (against) U.S.-Israeli domination, possess a deep sense of national unity. Contrary to what some parties say, we do not need to send weapons to Syria. We are simply articulating our support for the Syrian people and the reforms of President Bashar al-Assad.

“We have also said clearly that we recognize and understand the objectives of the U.S. and the Zionists in this vitally important Middle East country, and we would not allow America to use unrest in the country to install power structures that would upset the balance of power in the region, certainly not without the demand and will of the Syrian people, since America cares only (about) its own interests.

“On the contrary, we have received accurate intelligence from allies that tens of U.S.-Israeli backed trucks loaded with weapons have crossed Syria’s borders, bringing more danger to Syria. Fortunately, Syria and the Syrian people have been able to face off foreign intervention over the past few months. The result was the public referendum on the Syrian constitution, which was held peacefully.

“We deny charges of sending weapons to Syria, which does not need our weapons, in our opinion. What Syria needs, above everything else, is political support in facing one-sided American sanctions, and it also needs the reforms executed there to be taken into due consideration. These are core points in Iran’s policy towards Syria.”

Syria case is different from Bahrain

Asked about the difference between the situations in Bahrain and Syria, Amir-Abdollahian said, “The difference between Syria and Bahrain is that part of the events in Syria is real, such as people’s demands and their need for reforms. Like all other Arab states, Syria needs reforms and democracy. Yet, a greater part of the so-called events in Syria is artificial – initiated by foreign intervention, by flooding the country with weapons, manipulating regional change to weaken an important, resistant state.”

Dire consequences

Asked about the threats of military action against Iran that U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have issued, Amir Abdollahian said, “U.S.-Israeli threats against Iran are not new. It’s a repeating scenario involving the U.S. and the Zionist country.

“Some of these threats relate to changes taking place in the Middle East, North Africa as well as the Arab revolutions which were led rather peacefully and quietly by the Muslim peoples.

“We’re currently witnessing political and security changes which have come as a response to popular demands that weakened America’s presence in the region and empowered resistance against Zionism and against repressive regimes.

“Tel Aviv is in a very bad situation and Netanyahu is incapable of taking decisions or seriously thinking of attacking Iran. Should this unlikely attack ever happen, Israel would face dire consequences. They know this well, and Netanyahu’s statements reflect his fears because they are very weak now. Iran is much stronger than them, even in the current circumstances.”

Retaliatory options

On the consequences of a possible attack on Iran by Israel, “We have different retaliatory options. However, we are not convinced that Israel has the capability to launch a military attack on Iran. We see it as unrealistic. Any move against us would be strongly responded to, and they would regret it.”

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