Iran slams Friends of Syria decision to arm opposition fighters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at Wajbah Palace in Doha June 23, 2013. (Reuters)

Iran has denounced a recent decision by the Friends of Syria members to send weapons to the Syrian opposition fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the Iranian state news agency reported on Sunday.

“Those who support sending weapons to Syria are responsible for the massacre of innocents and for the insecurity in the region,” the official IRNA agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying.

Western and Arab countries meeting in Doha on Saturday mainly backing opposition fighters battling Assad said they would provide “urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment” to the opposition.

A final communique from the meeting said that the equipment would be channeled through the high council of the Free Syrian Army, AFP reported.

Foreign ministers from the 11 countries attending the conference agreed to provide the support to the opposition to “change the balance of power on the ground.”

Abdollahian lashed out at the U.S. for its role in the Doha conference.

“Instead of sending weapons to Syria, Washington should support an end to violence and national dialogue so Syrians can decide their own future,” AFP quoted him as saying.

He called on Washington to “stop supporting terrorism, the murder of people and the destruction of infrastructure in Syria”.

On Saturday, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran “will never allow -- as it has shown until now -- that a political solution be imposed on the Syrian people from outside,” media reported.

Salehi also lashed out at the decision to send weapons to Syria, adding: “I am amazed that the West, which speaks of human rights, is sending weapons to cannibal terrorists”.

He was referring to a gruesome video that emerged on the Internet last month, apparently showing a Syrian rebel fighter cutting out the heart of a regime soldier and eating it.

Iran is Syria's main regional ally, and regularly denounces the aid that western and Arab countries and Turkey have given Syrian rebels.

(With AFP)
 

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Last Update: 11:04 KSA 14:04 - GMT 11:04
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