|Iran, Syria condemn U.S. decision to aid Syrian opposition||
TEHRAN – Iran and Syria on Saturday condemned the United States’ recent decision to provide non-military aid to Syrian opposition groups.
According to Reuters, the United States said on Thursday it would for the first time give non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, describing the aid as a way to bolster the rebels’ popular support.
The assistance will include medical supplies, food for rebel fighters, and $60 million to help the civil opposition provide basic services like security, education, and sanitation.
“What does it mean when the U.S. government allocates $60 million for assistance to opposition groups that kill the people under the pretext of non-military aid?,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said at a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran.
The U.S. and the European Union are seeking transfer of power in Syria through providing support for opposition forces, Muallem said, adding, “This shows their double standards. We are ready and are waiting for anyone who seeks a political solution and welcome them with open arms. We welcome the United States and others if they seek a political solution. We are aware that the United States is important and has an important role, and if it wants, the violence will be stopped.”
He also said that pressure should be exerted on Turkey and Qatar to withdraw their support for opposition groups.
In addition, the Iranian foreign minister commented on the U.S. decision and said, “The use of double standards will prolong the crisis in the country.”
“Anyone who prevents national dialogue in Syria will be responsible for the blood of the people,” Salehi added.
Salehi also said that Iran would regard Bashar al-Assad as the legal president of Syria until the 2014 presidential election.
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