First Published: 2013-01-24

 

Iran offers grim prediction on Syria conflict: Peace unlikely in 2013

 

In grim assessment of nearly two years of conflict, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad says fighting in Syria is edging closer to civil war.

 

Middle East Online

Iran diplomat: Not all rebels can be called terrorists

BAGHDAD - Syria is unlikely to see peace in 2013 as the fighting in the strife-torn country edges closer to civil war, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaie-Far said on Thursday.

In a grim assessment of nearly two years of conflict in Iraq's western neighbour, Danaie-Far said he believed that not all rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces can be called "terrorists," a term broadly used by the Syrian regime for insurgents.

"I believe it is far-fetched," he said when asked if he thought there could be peace in Syria this year.

"It is unlikely, but we have also noted there were some signals in the past one to two months," he added of remarks by UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi which he said Iran interpreted as marking the "end of the process of military options."

Tehran, a key ally of Damascus, has remained steadfast in its backing for Assad's regime since the Syrian uprising erupted in March 2011.

Speaking through an Iranian embassy Farsi-English translator, Danaie-Far said he believed the conflict, which the United Nations says has already left more than 60,000 people dead, "looks something like" a civil war.

"It is actually a combined form" of conflict, he said.

Specifically asked whether he believed some rebels had legitimate grievances, despite the regime branding them "terrorists," he said: "There are serious opponents and serious defenders and they are fighting together."

Danaie-Far said he did not believe that "anybody who objects (to) the Syrian government is a terrorist."

"They (rebels) have created the conditions where mercenary money and weaponry are injected into Syria."

The diplomat claimed that 70 percent of rebel-held territory was under the control of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, which first gained notoriety for its suicide bombings in Syria.

The group has since evolved into a formidable fighting force leading attacks on battlefronts throughout the embattled country.

Its extremist tactics and suspected affiliation to the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq have landed it on the US list of foreign "terrorist" organisations.

 

Erdogan resumes Gulen arrests after referendum win

France says has proof that Syrian regime behind 'chemical attack'

Trump says Assad's future 'not a deal breaker' on Syria

Iraq holding hundreds of millions of Qatar’s ransom money

Global leaders call for ridding world 'forever' of chemical arms

Exiled Turkish journalist urges EU to confront Erdogan

Morocco seizes 420 tonnes of plastic bags in year since ban

Mass funeral for dozens slain in Syria bus attack

Qatar insists Baghdad had ‘full knowledge’ of hostage deal

UN eyes new Yemen peace talks

Turkey opposition heads to European court to challenge referendum

Turkey says informed US, Russia prior to Kurdish strikes

Iraqi forces liberate ancient city of Hatra from IS

Saudi fire stops explosives-laden boat from Yemen

50 Syria migrants stranded on Morocco-Algeria border

Libya asks EU for patrol boats to stem migrant wave

Bangladesh approves Saudi-funded mosque project

German Chancellor regrets Israel snub of foreign minister

UAE sentences Iranian to 10 years for sanctions breach

IS using weaponised drones in battle for key Syria dam

Saudi government shake-up strengthens position of king's son

Israel allows NGO director visa after 'bias' row

Kuwait suspect confesses to plotting IS attacks

Russia has thwarted IS attack on far east oil hub Sakhalin

Death toll in Turkish air raids on Syria Kurds rises to 28

Draft resolution to pressure Polisario to withdraw from Guerguerat

Baghdad condemns Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish forces

Iran, major powers to review adherence to nuclear deal

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in Iraq, Syria

IS executes Iraqi civilians in Mosul

Netanyahu cancels talks with German FM over NGO meetings

Qatar World Cup workers receive random health checks

Libyan government calls for foreign intervention as fighting spreads

Tunisia parliament votes to ease harsh drug law

Nostalgia dominates Iraqi Ba’ath conference in Spain

Young Iraqi innovator building home-made drones

Moroccans call on Le Pen voters to quit country

Turkey court rejects opposition challenge to referendum result

Spain arrests 4 for links to Belgium IS attacks

Iraq forces push towards UNESCO site in Hatra

Israel appoints country's first female sharia judge

Frontline clinic is window to hell of IS-held Mosul

Iraq forces retake west Mosul neighbourhood from IS

Iraqi Kurds lament ‘unacceptable’ Turkish air strikes

Khamenei urges Iran candidates to focus on home