Iran accuses West of meddling in Syria


Foreign Ministry says US, Zionist provoking terror groups in Syria to carry out attacks, sabotage operations. ‘Zionist regime and its allies are seriously threatened,’ spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says

Iran accused Zionist allies on Tuesday of interfering in Syria after Western countries said Tehran may be helping crush dissent there.

“Some regimes, especially America and the Zionist regime, with particular aims, are provoking terrorist groups in Syria and in the region to carry out terrorist and sabotage operations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

Iran, has voiced support for uprisings in most of the Arab world, but not Syria with which it has what it sees as a “line of resistance” against Zionism as both support militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Mehmanparast backed the Syrian government’s assertions that the three-month-old protests are part of a conspiracy backed by foreign powers.

“The Zionist regime and its advocates are seriously threatened, that is why they are doing all they can to crush this resistance line standing against the aggression of the Zionist regime.”

Britain has said there is “credible information suggesting Iran is helping Syria with the suppression of protests there, including through the provision of expertise and equipment,” a charge Tehran denied.

Syrian rights groups say 1,300 civilians have been killed since the start of the uprising. One group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says more than 300 soldiers and police have also been killed.

‘Internal issue’

“What is happening inside Syria is an internal issue. The government and the people of Syria are politically mature enough to resolve their own issues,” Mehmanparast said.

The spokesman warned against any overt military action by the West.

“We think that the Americans in no way have the right to have any military interference in any country within the region, namely Syria. We acknowledge this as a wrong act … which can have consequences for the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Syrian tanks pushed toward more towns and villages near the Turkish and Iraqi borders on Tuesday.

Activists say more some 10,000 Syrians have been detained in the government crackdown since the popular uprising began in mid-March. About 8,500 have fled to Turkey, where they offer a frightening picture of life at home.

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