BEIRUT: A top Iranian military officer has said Tehran managed to fend off a campaign by 86 countries to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Fars news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, speaking Friday at a ceremony in the Iranian capital, as saying that his country was “1,000 times” stronger than it was in the past.
Hajizadeh said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “explicitly acknowledged” the failure of opponents of the Assad regime, “and the scene has changed as desired by Iran and Hezbollah.”
Hajizadeh, who commands the Revolutionary Guard air force, said “86 countries stood and said the Syrian government should be changed and Bashar Assad should go, but they failed because Iran had a different point of view, and they were eventually defeated.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 15, 2014, on page 8.