Iran a wise friend: Syria`s Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also said that his government had a duty to wipe out terrorists to protect its people.

Updated: Jun 29, 2012, 12:08 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Damascus: In a rare interview, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed Iran as one of the “wise governments” wanting to guard stability in Syria in the wake of the 16-month-old uprising against him.

Assad, who hardly gives interviews, said he would not “retaliate against Turkey” despite the latter’s support to the Syrian insurgency.

The Syrian President’s one-hour interview, which was taped in Damascus last week, was broadcast on Thursday on Iranian state television.

“We highly appreciate the realistic stance of an important regional country such as Iran,” Assad said.

“As long as Syria’s stability is important for the stability in the region and the world, wise governments should spare no effort to safeguard Syria’s stability.”

He added: “Iran plays an important role because the people of Iran live in the same region and they know the region better than distant countries do."

Iran is Syria’s only regional ally.

The Syrian leader, who is under pressure to curb killings, also said that his government had a duty to wipe out terrorists to protect its people.

"The responsibility of the Syrian government is to protect all of our residents. You have a responsibility to annihilate terrorists in any corner of the country," Assad said.

"When you eliminate a terrorist, it`s possible that you are saving the lives of tens, hundreds, or even thousand.”

Assad also ruled out any outside solution to the problem in his country.

"We will not accept any non-Syrian, non-national model, whether it comes from big countries or friendly countries. No one knows how to solve Syria`s problems as well as we do," he said.

"We are moving forward with political reforms. But for terrorists and the governments that support them, reforms have no meaning."