'Peace would hurt Syria-Iran relations'

Iranian official says an Israeli-Syrian agreement could radically change relations with Damascus.

assad olmert 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
assad olmert 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
An Iranian official has warned that a peace agreement between Israel and Syria would lead to radical changes in relations between Teheran and Damascus, DPA reported Monday. Hussein Shariatmadari, an advisor to Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reportedly told London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that this was his personal view, "but I think that the signing of such an agreement would be also against the opinion of Iran, the Iranian government and the Iranian people." Iran, he said, was unhappy with talks between Israel and Islamic countries. "We always say there is no country called Israel in the region. This country is called Palestine. So, it is normal that we reject any negotiations between an Islamic state, like Syria or Turkey, and an illegitimate, non-existent state," Shariatmadari said. He added that talks between Israel and Hamas or Hizbullah were not comparable. "Negotiations over prisoner exchange does not mean that Hizbullah recognizes Israel. Hamas too, like Iran and Hizbullah, does not recognize a thing called Israel. A truce agreement is not a recognition of the state of Israel," he stated.