Assad’s allies determined to deter U.S. strike

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Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said on Sunday that the West will regret any military attack on Syria and advised resorting to dialogue to end the 30-month crisis.

Assad’s other key alley, Russia, renewed its refusal of any U.N. resolution against the Syrian regime.

The two countries remain persistent to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assads rule despite international pressures to force Assad and his proponents to submit to Western decisions.

Rowhani spoke out at a military parade in Tehran and addressed Western governments who have called for military strikes on Syria.

Do not seek a new war in the region because you will regret it,he said. War cannot be extinguished by war. It must be extinguished by politics and dialogue.

Rowhani made the comments right before his flight to New York where he is scheduled to attend the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the Syrias deadly two years and a half conflict. He is also due to discuss the conflict with French president Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the annual meeting.

The Iranian president also advised Syrian rebels and opposition members tosit at the table of negotiations with the Assad regime representative to find the right solution for all. The opposition Syrian National Council had refused Iran mediating efforts earlier.

In the meantime, Sergei Lavrov, Russias foreign minister, another key ally of Assad, accused the United States of attempting to blackmail Russia to support a U.N. resolution against Syria.

Our American partners are beginning to blackmail us: if Russia won't support a resolution under Chapter 7 in the U.N. Security Council, then we will stop the work in the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Russian agencies reported Lavrov saying in a Channel One interview.

Russia is unhappy with the draft's references to possible punitive measures against Syria under Article 7 of the U.N. charter, which talks about U.N. authorization for sanctions and military force.

Russia and the United States brokered the deal to put Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical arms stockpiles under international control to avoid possible U.S. military strikes that Washington said would be intended to punish Assad for a poison gas attack last month.

Under the U.S.-Russian deal, Assad must account for his chemical weapon stockpiles within a week and see them destroyed by the middle of next year.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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