Iran today hosted a one-day Syrian peace conference in Tehran. The conference was attended by around 200 Syrian and regional politicians, who mulled different ways to restore peace and stability in the violence-wracked Syria. However, there was not a single word said against President Bashar al-Assad and his brutal policies. Instead, rebels and their Western supporters were assailed for allegedly inciting violence in the volatile country. It may be pertinent to mention here that Syrian opposition groups tolerated by President Bashar al-Assad also participated in the conference. The conference took place following the selection of the new chief of Syrian opposition coalition and apparent plans of world powers to arm the rebels.
Shortly after the conference concluded, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that some countries – alluding to the European Union – are planning to arm Syrian rebels and it is not acceptable to the Islamic Republic. He said that it would be a dangerous precedent to arm the rebels and help them against the government. The foreign minister further said the move would also send a message across the world that the international community is bent on arming the rebels and least interested in restoring peace and stability in the country through viable means. Iran expressed its resolve to end violence in the country and establish democracy, but through reforms introduced by President Assad.
The reforms announced by the dictator are a joke, as he is least interested in bringing reforms in the political process and establish democracy in the country. It may be pertinent to mention here that Iran has been supporting the regime from the very first day and has always opposed the move to arm the rebels.
It is a fact that unless the opposition groups in the war-ravaged country are armed, little could be achieved. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have long been pressing the international community to arm the Syrian rebels, but the United States and its Western allies think the move would bring further chaos to the volatile country. At a time when a new opposition coalition has been constituted and it also enjoys support of the international community, practical and concrete steps should be taken to oust the dictator.
Iran, Russia and China have established a nexus with the Syrian president to protect their vested interests. Therefore, these countries would oppose any move aimed at bringing the tyrant down. It may be pertinent to mention here that Russia and China – being permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – have vetoed three resolutions in the UN Security Council moved against the Syrian dictator.