Lebanon News

Iran’s Boroujerdi: Strike on Syria could backfire, harm U.S., Israel

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, right, receives Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic parliament of Iran Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Beirut, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)

BEIRUT: Senior Iranian official Alaeddin Boroujerdi warned Monday that a U.S.-led military strike on Syria could backfire on the entire region, particularly against American and Israeli interests.

During his visit to Beirut, the head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, also briefed Lebanese officials on the crisis in Syria and discussed its repercussions on Lebanon.

“We think self-restraint exercised by U.S. President Barack Obama, this American approach, serves America's interest on the one hand and the Zionist entity's on the other because any political miscalculation in this regard could negatively backfire on the situation of the whole region,” Boroujerdi said.

His remarks came during a chat with reporters following talks with Speaker Nabih Berri at Ain el-Tineh.

Boroujerdi, who issued a similar warning a day earlier during a trip to Syria where he met with President Bashar Assad, also said that U.S. Congress should “bow to the will of the American people.”

“We think that the American public is sensitive toward and is opposed to any military aggression against Syria given the failed U.S. military experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

Last week, President Barack Obama said he would seek the authorization of Congress for a military strike on Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Obama has accused the regime of using poisonous gas on Syrian citizens on several occasions this year including the Aug. 21 attack which U.S. intelligence says killed over 1,400 people in a Damascus suburb.

Boroujerdi explained his visit to Syria focused on three main issues: defense of the “resistance and Syria” as a principle player in the resistance axis, Iran’s absolute opposition to any military action against Syria and its condemnation of the use of chemical weapons.

The Iranian official also met with Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam and several parliamentarians.

“We presented a detailed report about the results of our official visit to Syria and the important meetings we had with President [Bashar] Assad, the parliament speaker, the prime minister and the foreign minister,” Boroujerdi told reporters after talks with Salam.

Boroujerdi said he had affirmed Iran’s support for Syria, describing Iran’s ally as “the principle foundation and the vital axis of the resistance in the region.”

“We informed Salam of Iran's firm opposition to any form of military aggression against Syria,” he said.

Salam and Boroujerdi also discussed bilateral ties and expressed hope that a Lebanese government would be formed.

“We hope that the obstacles still facing the formation of a new government under Salam are eliminated because that issue serves the interest of the Lebanese,” he said.

The Iranian official also voiced his country’s support for stability in Lebanon.

“As you know the Islamic Republic of Iran always affirms its principle stance in supporting national unity as well as sovereignty, calm and stability in the sisterly state because we think it highly serves regional security and stability,” he said.

Boroujerdi also held a meeting with Lebanon’s foreign affairs parliamentary committee headed by MP Abdellatif al-Zein.

The talks, attended by MP Nawaf Musawi, Yassine Jaber, Joseph Maalouf, Khodr Habeeb, touched on the repercussions of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon, particularly in terms of security.

The officials will meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. to resume discussions.





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