Iran’s recently-inaugurated president Hassan Rouhani has reportedly and explicitly vowed to support Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, the latter having provided critical support for the Syrian regime as it eroded two years of opposition gains. The stance has complicated claims made by the revolutionary-era cleric to the effect that he is a able and willing to change Tehran’s belligerent foreign policy posture, but Rouhani not wavered from the commitment.
Today he explained, according to Iranian and Western media sources, that Iran’s interests in Syria are grounded in the fact that it is at the center of a global conspiracy to boost Zionist control. Iran’s state-controlled Fars news agency described Rouhani’s speech, which was given to what the outlet describes as “ranking commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)”:
“It is clear to all of us that the West has a decision for the entire region and doesn’t like our region in its present shape and this is the reason that the British and the French are returning to the region after years,” Rouhani said, referring to the recent war rhetoric of the French and British officials against Syria. “A study of the (present) conditions in Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Syria shows that the West has made a chain of them and seeks to strengthen Israel and weaken the resistance front,”
Western media sources had further excerpts in which the president, often described as a relative pragmatist within the Iranian establishment, asserted that American moves against the Assad regime were driven by hidden motives:
The United States and its allies in the West and the Arab world back Syrian rebels in the country’s uprising-turned-civil war that has claimed more than 110,000 lives since March 2011. “We know very well that the conflict in Syria is not about which person should be president,” Rowhani said. “It is completely clear that the West has [made] a decision for the entire region as it does not accept our region in its current state.”
President Obama acknowledged this weekend that he has exchanged letters with Rouhani regarding American intervention in Syria.
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