No stable Mideast without Iran: Syrian president

December 20, 2007

TEHRAN – Syrian President Bashar Assad has said that it is not possible to establish peace and security in the Middle East without Iran’s contribution.

“Iran is a very important country in the region and Damascus never wants to lose this ally,” Assad said in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse published on Wednesday.
Syria is determined to have friendly relations with Iran and the West will not succeed in its efforts to foment discord between the two countries, said the president.
He added, “The U.S. is seeking to isolate Syria because it had opposed a military strike against Iraq, but it would not be able to isolate us under the pretext that we are having good relations with the Islamic Republic.”
Asked about the reason for Syria’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah, the president said, “Hamas is a powerful movement in Palestine. Without Hamas peace and security will not be established in the country. This is also true about Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
“Syria cannot trust Israel as long as it is pursuing its acts of aggression. As long as a part of our land is under Israel’s occupation we will not recognize this regime,” Assad said, referring to the Syrian Golan Heights seized by the Zionist regime in 1967.
He also condemned the U.S. intervention in Lebanon’s internal conflicts over electing a president, saying that Damascus is making every effort to help Lebanese political parties agree on a consensus president and also form a national unity government.