Iran denies US charge of aiding Syria crackdown

Last Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 22:00

Tehran: Iran on Saturday rejected US President
Barack Obama`s accusation that its ally Syria has sought
Tehran`s help in the violent suppression of protests in the
Arab country.

"We reject these declarations. Our foreign policy is very
clear -- we do not intervene in the domestic affairs of other
states," said foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast,
quoted by Al-Alam television.

Following the killing of dozens of protesters yesterday
Obama said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was "seeking
Iranian assistance in repressing Syria`s citizens through the
same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian
allies."

Yesterday`s bloodshed came as tens of thousands of
demonstrators took to the streets for protests to test long
sought-after freedoms a day after Assad scrapped decades of
draconian emergency rule.

Mehmanparast today also criticised the use of force
against the demonstrations, but without mentioning Syria by
name.

"We respect the sovereignty of other countries and we
respect the demands of people. We consider as unacceptable the
use of violence against the people of any country," he said.

Syria has been Iran`s main ally in the Arab world since
the Islamic revolution of 1979.

On April 14, the US accused Iran of helping to suppress
protests in Syria.

"We believe that there is credible information that Iran
is assisting Syria... in quelling the protesters," State
Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Syria today also slammed Obama`s comments, saying they
were "not based on an objective vision of the reality on the
ground."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 22:00

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