Daily Israel Report

Iranian Official: Syria Strike Will Hurt Israeli Interests

Senior Iranian official Alaeddin Boroujerdi warns: A U.S. strike on Syria will affect the entire region.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/3/2013, 6:42 AM

Syrian Army soldier in Aleppo
Syrian Army soldier in Aleppo
Reuters

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

Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, made the remarks during his visit to Beirut and they were carried by the Lebanese Daily Star.

“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 told reporters following talks with the Speaker of the Lebanese parliament.

Boroujerdi, who issued a similar warning a day earlier during a trip to Syria where he met with President Bashar Al-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.

Boroujerdi explained his visit to Syria focused on three main issues: defense of the “resistance and Syria” as a principle player in the so-called "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 Assad, the parliament speaker, the prime minister and the foreign minister,” Boroujerdi told reporters, according to the Daily Star.

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.

Iran is a close ally of Assad and has provided him with military support during his fight against rebels trying to topple his regime.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

Boroujerdi’s comments came as the administration in Washington is trying to secure support from Congress in a vote to take military action in Syria.

Obama seemed determined to attack in Syria last week, but took a step back on Saturday, announcing he would seek approval from Congress first.

The White House said on Monday it is prepared to rework the language of a proposal to take military action in Syria to address concerns from lawmakers, who said Obama's draft could open the door to possible use of ground troops or eventual attacks on other countries.

Assad, meanwhile, warned in an interview with a French newspaper that an attack on his country would risk triggering a regional war.

"The Middle East is a powder keg, and today the flame is coming very near. We cannot talk merely about the Syrian response, but about what might take place after the first strike. But nobody knows what will happen. Everyone will lose control of the situation when the powder keg explodes. Chaos and extremism will spread. There is a risk of regional war," Assad told Le Figaro.

He dismissed the findings from both the United States and France, which have both said they have proof that his regime was behind an August 21 chemical attack near Damascus, which the U.S. said killed more than 1,400 people.