Iran Urges Assad to Cease Violent Crackdown of Syria Protest

Iranian president, longtime ally of the besieged Syrian leader, says Assad should negotiate with opposition, saying: 'A military solution is never the right solution.'

Syrian President Bashar Assad should back away from his violent crackdown on protesters and enter talks with the opposition, Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.

"There should be talks" between the Syrian government and its opponents, Ahmadinejad said in a live interview in Tehran with Portuguese broadcaster Radiotelevisao Portuguesa.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Syrian counterpart Bashar AssadCredit: AP

"A military solution is never the right solution," Ahmadinejad said, according to a simultaneous Portuguese translation of his comments.

"We believe that freedom and justice and respect for others are the rights of all nations. All governments have to recognize these rights," he said. "Problems have to be dealt with through dialogue."

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said last month that Assad should answer the legitimate demands of his people.

"Other countries in the region can help the Syrian government and people to talk to each other with a view to resolving their differences and introducing the reforms that are needed," Ahmadinejad said.

Iran, Damascus' chief ally, has blamed the U.S. and Israel for instigating more than five months of protests in Syria.

The U.S. and other nations have accused Iran of helping Assad crush the uprising.

"Other countries have no right to interfere in ... domestic discussions," Ahmadinejad said, citing NATO's intervention in Libya as an example of misguided actions.

Iranian president's comments came as new reports claimed that Syrian security forces have unleashed a barrage of gunfire, killing at least 11 people and leaving thousands cowering in their homes,

Nine of those killed on Wednesday died in Homs, a hotbed of opposition to Assad's autocratic regime. Two others were shot dead during raids in Sarameen, in northern Syria.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island

Inside the Fierce Battle Over America's Oldest Synagogue

Protesters demonstrating in front of the consulate general of Israel in New York last year.

Huge Gap Between Young, Old Americans' View on Israel-Palestine

Rep. Henry Cuellar attends a campaign event on Wednesday, in San Antonio, Texas.

AIPAC-backed Dem Declares Victory Against Progressive Challenger in Texas Runoff

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami at an event for Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran, last month.

Prospects for Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal 'Tenuous' at Best, U.S. Envoy Says

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report