DUBAI - Iran lambasted the Arab League for allowing an opposition leader to fill Syria's vacant seat at the organisation's annual summit and described it as "dangerous behavior," Iranian media reported late on Tuesday.
With Syrian membership to the Arab League suspended in November 2011, the seat at Tuesday's summit was filled by Moaz Alkhatib, the leading figure among Syria's opposition coalition that is battling to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
Shiite Iran has given crucial backing to Assad since the protests erupted in Syria in 2011. Tehran regards him as key in the axis of resistance against Israel and a bulwark against what it says are extremist Sunni groups operating in Syria.
"Assigning Syria's seat to the Arab League to those who don't have the backing of the people establishes a pattern of dangerous behavior for the Arab world that can set a new precedent for other members of the Arab League in the future," said deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdullahian, Iran's student news agency (ISNA) reported.