Iran, Syria Stress ‘Solid Ties’; Ready for any Israeli Aggression
By Hanan Awarekeh – Al Manar
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday publicly shrugged off US efforts to drive a wedge between the two Middle East allies. “I am surprised by their call to keep a distance between the countries … when they raise the issue of stability and peace in the Middle East, and all the other beautiful principles,” Assad said.
“We need to further reinforce relations if the true objective is stability. We do not want others to give us lessons on our region, our history,” the Syrian leader told a joint media conference with Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian president, who flew in to Damascus earlier in the day, said that the United States should pack up and leave the Middle East and stay out of regional affairs.
Ahmadinejad said, “(The Americans) want to dominate the region but they feel Iran and Syria are preventing that… We tell them that instead of interfering in the region’s affairs, to pack their things and leave.”
The Iranian president also stressed that ties between the two Muslim states were as “solid” as ever. “Relations between Syria and Iran are brotherly, deep, solid and permanent … Nothing can damage these relations,” he said.
“These ties will become deeper and develop over the years. We are brothers. We have mutual interests, as well as common goals and enemies,” said the Iranian president, adding, “The world needs a new order.”
On the eve of the visit, President Barack Obama’s administration said it has been pressing Damascus – amid steps toward a normalization of US-Syria ties – to move away from Iran and stop arming Hezbollah.
Testifying in the Senate, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was blunter than ever about Washington’s bid to drive a wedge between Damascus and Tehran.
Clinton said William Burns, the third-ranking US diplomat, “had very intense, substantive talks in Damascus” when he visited Syria last week, in the highest-level such US mission for five years.
Syria is being asked “generally to begin to move away from the relationship with Iran, which is so deeply troubling to the region as well as to the United States,” she said.
“Arab World will Usher in New Mideast without Zionists”
Al-Assad and Ahmadinejad also addressed the recent Israeli threats during their conference. “We believe we are facing an entity that is capable of aggression at any point, and we are preparing ourselves for any Israeli aggression, be it on a small or large scale. We must be prepared for any Israeli response, under any pretext,” said the Syrian leader. “Israel is directing its threats at Syria and the resistance movements. The threats are also aimed at boosting the Israeli citizens’ morale after a series of defeats.”
President Ahmadinejad said that “if the Zionist regime wants to repeat its past mistakes, this will bring about its demise and annihilation,” adding that Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon will stand against Israel.
“The Zionists and their protectors have reached a dead end. The Zionist entity will eventually disappear; its existential philosophy has ended. The Zionist conquerors have reached a dead end; all of their threats against the Palestinians stem from their weakness. If the Zionists repeat their past mistakes, all of the region’s nations will uproot them,” Ahmadinejad said.
“With Allah’s help, the new Middle East will be a Middle East without Zionists and imperialists. We hope they will recognize the rights of the region’s nations, but they must realize that if they continue along their wrongful path they have no place in our region. Today the ties between the region’s nations – between Iran, Syria and the resistance movement – are very strong. We believe that developments in the world will benefit Iran, Syria and the region’s free governments,” he said.
Before leaving Tehran into Damascus, Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency as saying that the two countries would not be deterred. “While the Zionists make permanent threats against my country and peoples of the region … Syria and Iran must consult and take decisions to confront these threats,” he said,
About two weeks ago Ahmadinejad said during a telephone conversation with al-Assad that Israel should be resisted and finished off if it launched military action in the region. “We have reliable information … that the Zionist regime is after finding a way to compensate for its ridiculous defeats from the people of Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah,” he told the Syrian leader.
“If the Zionist regime should repeat its mistakes and initiate a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all,” Ahmadinejad said.
“Iran has the Right to Pursue Uranium Enrichment”
President al-Assad, for his part, also defended Iran’s right to pursue uranium enrichment, despite the threat of new sanctions against the Islamic republic over its nuclear program. “To forbid an independent state the right to enrichment amounts to a new colonialist process in the region,” he said.
Thursday’s visit comes after Walid Mouallem, Syria’s foreign minister, said Damascus was eager to help Iran and the West engage in a “constructive” dialogue over Tehran’s nuclear program. “Sanctions are not a solution [to the problem] between Iran and the West,” Mouallem said on Saturday. “We are trying to engage a constructive dialogue between the two parties in order to reach a peaceful solution.”
He insisted that despite Western claims “Iran does not have a nuclear military program.”
On the nuclear front, Clinton also said on Wednesday that she hoped to see a UN Security Council resolution on a fourth set of sanctions against Iran in the “next 30 to 60 days.”
Posted on February 25, 2010, in News and tagged ahmedinejad, assad, bashar, clinton, enrichment, hillary, iran, israel, mideast, new middle east, nuclear, palestine, resistance, syria, zionist. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.