A leading member of Parliament led Iran’s delegation to Syria on Wednesday, meeting President Assad.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament’s National Security Commission, blamed the US for backing “terrorist groups” challenging the regime. He said the terrorism “could backfire against Washington itself”.
Iran has provided essential economic and military aid to Assad since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011. Last July, Tehran extended a $3.6 billion line of credit, covering oil supplies for Syria’s crippled and sanctions-burdened economy. The Revolutionary Guards have provided advice, logistical support, and intelligence, while Iranian officers are training pro-Assad militia.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, as he hosted Qatari counterpart Khalid al-Attiyah on Wednesday, that the crisis must be ended by a political agreement: “There is no other solution, the only ones who can decide the future of Syria are the Syrian people.”
Tehran has backed the Syrian regime’s emphasis on a 2014 Presidential election, rather than a transitional governing authority in which Assad would step aside.
In a pointed reference to Saudi support for the insurgency — and Iran’s attempt to turn other Gulf States against it — State outlet Press TV attributed these words to the Qatari Foreign Minister:”Regional countries are divided over the notion that the Syria conflict can be resolved solely through dialogue.”
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