[Marxism] Iran FM to Syria: recognize citizens' demands

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Sat Aug 27 11:30:29 MDT 2011

Iran Calls on Syria to Recognize Citizens’ Demand
Published: August 27, 2011

.BEIRUT, Lebanon — Iran, Syria’s closest ally, called on the government 
in Damascus to recognize its people’s “legitimate” demands on Saturday, 
in the first such remarks to come from the Persian country since the 
five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad started.

Although the remarks, by Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, did 
not advocate any specific changes, they were the first public sign of 
growing unease with the crisis in Syria — even as Iran has maintained an 
unyielding crackdown on its own dissenters.

Other governments in the region are increasingly worried that the crisis 
could spill beyond Syria’s borders, especially given Mr. Assad’s seeming 
determination to snuff out a resilient demonstration movement despite 
the cost in sectarian and social tensions. That violence continued on 
Saturday, as Syrian security forces opened fire on hundreds of 
demonstrators across the country, killing at least three people, 
according to activists.

“The government should answer to the demands of its people, be it Syria, 
Yemen or other countries,” Mr. Salehi was quoted by the ISNA news agency 
as saying. “The people of these nations have legitimate demands, and the 
governments should answer these demands as soon as possible.”

But Mr. Salehi warned of dangerous regional implications if the crisis 
in Syria was not solved peacefully, in a reference to the international 
military intervention in Libya to help rebels there end the rule of Col. 
Muammar el-Qaddafi. Mr. Salehi’s remarks echoed those on Friday by 
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group 
Hezbollah, in which he called on Syria to introduce reforms but warned 
of regional fallout.

Mr. Salehi cautioned, “A vacuum in the Syrian regime would have an 
unpredictable impact on the region and its neighbors.”

The United States and some European nations have called on Mr. Assad to 
step down and are trying to tighten sanctions against the Syrian 
government and individual people and groups seen to be aiding it. That 
has affected Iran, as well; in the past week, the European Union 
announced that it was putting sanctions on the secretive Al Quds wing of 
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, saying it was providing 
technical and material support for Syria’s crackdown on demonstrators.

One person was killed Saturday when security forces shot at 
demonstrators leaving the Rifai mosque in the Kfar Susseh neighborhood, 
in the western part of Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for 
Human Rights. The imam of the mosque, Osama al-Rifai, was wounded in the 
attack along with nine others, according to the observatory.

Demonstrations were also held in Roukn Eddine, a neighborhood in 
northern Damascus, and in Zabadani, a suburb of the capital.

Another person was killed in house-to-house raids in the northern town 
of Kfar Nabel, near Idlib, according to the Local Coordination 
Committees, a group of activists who track the uprising; another one was 
shot in Deir el-Zour.

The United Nations says that more than 2,200 people have been killed 
across Syria since the protests began in mid-March. But the government 
disputes this account and says that it is facing a foreign conspiracy 
aimed at creating strife in the country, and that it is fighting armed 
Muslim extremists.

More information about the Marxism mailing list