Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West yesterday of fomenting unrest in Syria and across the Arab Middle East to secure Israel’s position, state television reported.
Iran, which has crushed its own opposition protests at home, has welcomed uprisings in the region as an “Islamic awakening” against despotic rulers.
But Ahmadinejad accused his arch foe the United States and other Western nations of hatching a plot, singling out Tehran’s ally Syria which is being rocked by anti-government protests.
“They want to save the Zionist regime (Israel) by interfering in the region aimed at creating discord among the regional nations and governments,” he told a news conference.“America and the Zionist regime want to weaken Syria’s resistance by creating discord between the Syrian government and the Syrian nation,” said Ahmadinejad.
Syria, which maintains an anti-Israel alliance with Iran and supports the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, has has been hit by growing political unrest, inspired by uprisings that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. “The government of Syria and its nation are our friends,” said Ahmadinejad. “We think they will resolve their problems with expediency.”
Some analysts say the popular uprisings have strengthened hardline Iran’s position against its Sunni-dominated rivals such as US-ally Saudi Arabia.
Iran is at loggerheads with the major powers over its disputed nuclear work, which it says is peaceful but the West fears may be intended to produce weapons. Israel and the United States have refused to exclude possible military action against Tehran if diplomatic efforts to resolve the row fail. Reuters