After meeting with Lebanese and Syrian officials, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security Committee said that Syrian President Bashar Assad is in “high spirits.”
Statements reportedly made by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani blaming “a government” for the chemical weapons attack in Syria have received considerable coverage, both in Iranian and foreign media, forcing Rafsanjani’s personal website to issue a statement on the matter.
According to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s granddaughter at a meeting in North Tehran on Friday, Rafsanjani said, “A government that uses chemical bombs against its people will face hard consequences, just like Saddam, who earned eternal shame in the bombing of Halabja and suffered such a horrible fate.” These comments solely place blame on a government whereas most Iranian officials have either generally condemned chemical weapons use and some have blamed the rebels. Continue reading
According to the granddaughter of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani recently condemned the use of chemical weapons by “a government,” a distinction that other Iranian officials have not made, and reminded those at the meeting of the fate of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his views for the first time on Syria since accusations of chemical weapons led to the possibility of military strikes by the West on Syria. President Hassan Rouhani also warned of another war in the region and parliament speaker Ali Larijani addressed the possibility of an attack on Syria on the parliament floor today, issuing perhaps the harshest and most direct warning to Israel and countries supporting the military strike.
Famous journalist and prominent politician Saeed Hajjarian, who is known as the one of the main theoreticians behind Iran’s reform movement, gave a rare interview to Reformist Bahar newspaper yesterday. Hajjarian stressed the importance of solving regional and sectarian issues with Iran’s Arab neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, while dismissing the importance of presidential trips to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
The Syrian army has reportedly retaken control over the city of Qusair in Homs province after a year of Syrian rebels controlling the city. Qusair witnessed heavy fighting and many casualties on both sides, and stood out especially due to the heavy presence of Lebanese Hezbollah’s fighters who fought on the side of the Syrian army. Iran has invested heavily in keeping President Bashar al-Assad’s government in power and is the main sponsor of Hezbollah.
Mohammad Reza Aref, former first vice president from 2001-2005 under former president Mohammad Khatami, registered for Iran’s presidential elections today. Aref, who is currently a member of the Expediency Council, an advisory body to the supreme leader, said that soon a united Reformist candidate would be introduced among the other potential candidates. He is perhaps the most well known Reformist candidate to register thus far.