Iranian president praises Syrian handling of uprising

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REPORTING FROM TEHRAN -- Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad praised Syria’s government for its handling of an uprising against President Bashar Assad, saying Iran would do “all in its power to support this country,” according to state media.

“I am very happy that Syrian officials are managing the situation well,” Ahmadinejad said in remarks broadcast Tuesday. “I hope the situation in Syria improves day after day.”


While Syria has faced increasing international pressure to halt its violent crackdown on the rebellion, Iran has sided with the Assad regime.

Ahmadinejad made his remarks while a special envoy from Assad, Faisal Maqdad, was in Iran to talk to top officials. He assured the Syrian government that Iran would back it.

“Iran will not leave any stone unturned to support the Syrian system of Bashar Assad,” Ahmadinejad was quoted in Iranian media.

News of the Syrian conflict recently began to appear on Iranian television, which originally shied from covering the uprising and is now taking angles sympathetic to the Assad regime.

More than 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the conflict in Syria, many of them civilians. The United Nations has condemned the Assad government for widespread human rights abuses. Syrian officials argue they are under attack from armed terrorists and must defend themselves.


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-- Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles