Israeli officials link Tehran to Assad’s massacres

“The Iranian regime is in a very concrete manner lending its support to the Syrian government’s murder of the Syrian people."

Syrian President Assad, Iranian President Ahmadinejad 311R (photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters)
Syrian President Assad, Iranian President Ahmadinejad 311R
(photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters)
A day after Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, said a Western military intervention in Syria would “engulf” Israel, Israeli government officials tried to shine the light on Iranian involvement in the Syrian bloodshed.
“The Iranian regime is in a very concrete manner lending its support to the Syrian government’s murder of the Syrian people, and this is part of their very aggressive and dangerous behavior in the region,” one official said.
If this is what Iran does without atomic weapons, the official added, “what would Iranian behavior look like if they had nuclear capabilities?”
Meanwhile, a US think tank has published satellite images that it says underscore suspicions that Iran is trying to destroy evidence of nuclear weapons-related research at a site that UN inspectors have not been allowed to visit.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Syria was brutally slaughtering its people “with, of course, the assistance of Iran and Hezbollah – real assistance, not just political support, but assistance in murder.”
The Tehran Times quoted Larijani as warning that “US military officials probably have a poor understanding of themselves and regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya, and [the effects of] creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would definitely envelop the Zionist regime.”
Larijani said it seemed as if the US and the West were “seeking to pave the way for a new crisis.”
Larijani also said that US officials “should be aware of [the nature of] their dangerous game. Isn’t it necessary that they take measures in response to the military occupation of Bahrain? The question is why they are preventing the reform plan in Syria from moving forward.”
The Iranian parliamentarian was quoted as saying that “certain reactionaries in the region take pride in the fact that they have used money and weapons to destroy and incite a civil war in Syria.”
He also declared that the Iranian parliament “supports democratic reforms in Syria that will help uphold the people’s rights, condemns terrorist actions and opportunistic interference by certain countries in Syria as well as the hawkish and unwise messages of the United States, and warns that it may seem easy to embark on such an act of adventurism, but it will definitely be difficult to end it.”
Former Mossad head Meir Dagan, who has questioned the wisdom of an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, did say on Wednesday that he senses that now the time is ripe to “weaken the position of Iran in the world and in the area.”
Dagan said that Iran puts “everything into Syria and Hezbollah,” which it uses as proxies against Israel and the West. He said that a situation where Assad would fall, and the Sunnis would rise in Syria, would automatically weaken Hezbollah in a dramatic way and reduce the impact of Iran in the area.
The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security posted the satellite photos on its website hours after the UN nuclear watchdog showed diplomats similar images that Western envoys said indicated a clean-up at the Parchin military facility.
Parchin, which Iran says is a conventional military complex southeast of Tehran, is at the center of Western allegations that Iran has conducted experiments – possibly a decade ago – that could help develop atom bombs.
The new satellite images appear to back Western suspicions that Iran is cleaning the site of any incriminating evidence, such as traces of uranium or other materials, before possibly allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to go there.
Western diplomats who attended Wednesday’s closed-door briefing by the IAEA in Vienna told Reuters that two small buildings at Parchin had been removed, and the Institute for Science and International Security said its pictures from May 25 showed that they had been “completely razed.”
“Iran is worried that the agency might find something there. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be going through the sanitization process,” a senior Western official said.
The pictures were published after inconclusive talks last week between Tehran and six world powers that aim to end a nuclear standoff in which the West has intensified sanctions on Iran, and Israel and the United States have threatened military strikes to stop the Islamic Republic from getting the bomb.
Reuters contributed to this report.