Publishe Date: 9:29 PM - 6/25/2013 | Print

Iran slams decision to supply arms to Syria militants

Politics - The Iranian Foreign Ministry has criticized the so-called Friends of Syria’s decision to provide Takfiri militants in Syria with weapons.

“The most noticeable output of this conference was [agreement on] supplying arms to opposition groups in Syria,” the ministry’s spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, said on Tuesday.

“What occurred in Doha is in contrast with the objectives of the [upcoming] Geneva conference [on Syria], and will only fuel tensions in Syria,” he warned.

He said the decision seriously questioned the real intentions of the United States and other participants at the Saturday meeting of the Friends of Syria group in the Qatari capital.

Araqchi also expressed concern over reports of a confidential agreement reached in the meeting for the assassination of Syrian and Lebanese figures.

“If what is said about assassinating Syrian figures or spreading terror to other countries is true, it is extremely worrisome...,” he stated.

Iran backs Geneva conference in principle

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman stressed Tehran’s support for efforts aimed at persuading the belligerent sides in Syria to sit at the negotiation table in the long-awaited international conference on Syria in Geneva, which will serve as a follow-up to a June 2012 meeting in the Swiss city.

“Unfortunately, this conference faces various obstacles but the main idea of assembling the representatives of the [Syrian] government and [those of] the opposition in a meeting is correct,” he said.

Araqchi referred to the opposition’s failure to reach a consensus on whether to attend the meeting as well as the absence of a concrete agenda for the Geneva conference as the main problems which may hinder peace talks.

The official also criticized attempts by those who claim to support a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis but paradoxically move toward arming the Takfiri militants in the violence-hit country.

He said Tehran will continue to support Russia’s efforts to pave the way for the Geneva conference, reiterating Iran’s call for a political solution through to a broad-based inclusive national dialog.

The crisis in Syria began in March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security forces, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy.

Last month, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said militants from as many as 29 different countries are fighting against Syrian government.

The West and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are reportedly supporting the militants.

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