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Tehran: Syria suffering for supporting Palestinians
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
04/07/2012
Iranian official accuses US, West of ‘taking revenge’ on Damascus’s support for the Palestinians.
 
A senior Iranian official accused Western countries of “taking revenge” on the Syrian government because of Damascus’s support for the Palestinians.

Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the remarks during a meeting with the speaker of Syria’s parliament, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for a three-day visit that includes talks with senior Iranian officials.

A member of Syria’s ruling Ba’ath Party, Laham is also a prominent Damascus attorney.

He was elected to Syria’s parliament in May.

His Tehran visit comes after Iran – Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest regional ally – was excluded from the list of nations attending a recent crisis meeting on Syria, held in Geneva on June 30.

In his meeting with Laham on Tuesday evening, Jalili said Syria “does not welcome foreign intervention and will not tolerate terrorist measures,” while Laham said the Western media has exaggerated the situation in Syria.

Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, said the aim of Laham’s visit was to “enhance bilateral cooperation and discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest.” He is also expected to consult with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, head of Iran’s judicial system Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s KUNA news agency reported Tuesday comments from Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, who said the recent Geneva crisis meeting on Syria had failed because it had excluded influential regional actors.

“Any meeting that excludes the Syrian government and influential regional countries will be futile and any settlement imposed from outside on Syria will not succeed,” Mehmanparast said, adding that “Tehran rejects any foreign influence in regional affairs, especially in Syria.”
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