Iran warns of regional chaos in post-Assad era

By REUTERS
May 7, 2013 17:46

AMMAN - Iran's foreign minister warned on Tuesday of unforeseeable consequences if Syrian President Bashar Assad was toppled and said only a political settlement to Syria's civil war would avoid a regional conflagration.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran is Assad's closest ally and has provided money, weapons, intelligence and training for his forces against a mainly Sunni Muslim uprising in which more than 70,000 people have been killed in two years, by a UN estimate.

"God forbid, if there is any vacuum in Syria, these negative consequences will affect all countries ... No one knows what will happen," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters during a rare visit to Jordan.

Flanked by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh, Salehi said it was no secret Iran supported Damascus but accused Syria's neighbors of allowing arms to flow to Sunni Muslim rebels led by militant groups aligned with al-Qaida.


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