Iran has put out a lengthy defense of its strategy in the Syrian conflict, while condemning the head of the opposition and announcing that it will send monitors to the June 3 Presidential election.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “In the past three years we, despite all problems, have adopted an accurate and logical strategy on the issue of Syria.”
He declared, “Those who in opposition to our strategies intend to get united and topple the Syrian government will not succeed.”
Amir-Abdollahian reiterated that Iran has sent military advisor to assist the Assad regime but emphasized Tehran’s humanitarian aid and said “that the Islamic Republic has held talks with all opposition groups in Syria and encouraged them to play an effective role in the Arab country following the upcoming Presidential vote”.
The Minister confirmed that Iran will send observers to the June 3 ballot, in which President Assad faces two nominal challengers.
Amir-Abdollahian derided the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, “In our opinion, when it comes to politics, Ahmad Jarba is a weak person….He is the most inappropriate person for the future of Syria.”
Jarba spurred the criticism last week when he met Maryam Rajavi, the head of the People’s Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, the political wing of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). Tehran considers MEK, which has pursued the violent overthrow of the Islamic Republic since 1980, a “terrorist” organization.
Amir-Abdollahian said, “(Jarba) does not know who to meet in his foreign meetings.”
Report: FM Zarif and European Union’s Ashton Begin 2 Days of Nuclear Talks
A “source close to Iran’s nuclear negotiators” has said that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet the European Union’s Catherine Ashton, the lead of the 5+1 Powers in the nuclear negotiations, on Monday and Tuesday in Istanbul.
Al-Monitor is carrying a similar report from an unnamed source.
The meeting comes between mid-May’s fourth round of talks on a comprehensive nuclear deal and the resumption of formal discussions on June 16 in Vienna.
Supreme Leader “World Must Rid Itself of US-Led Arrogant Front”
In a meeting with MPs on Sunday, the Supreme Leader said the struggle against evil powers will end only after the international community rids itself of a US-led “arrogant front”: “This task calls for a hard and long struggle and major strides.”
The Leader said his defiance was not “warmongering” but the necessity to “equip oneself in order to pass through a region swarming with pirates”.
Ayatollah Khamenei called once more for the adoption of the “resistance economy” so that Iran would not have to depend on foreign powers: “The solution to the country’s economic and political problems cannot be found outside the borders, but the real cure for the problems is inside the country, which is reliance on internal potentials and capabilities.”
As Iran continues to negotiate with the 5+1 Powers on a comprehensive nuclear agreement, Khamenei put out a barbed message:
Those who want to promote compromise and submission to bullying powers, and accuse the Islamic establishment of warmongering are in fact committing treachery.