Iran plays down Israeli-Syrian peace talks
Iran Saturday played down the importance of
Turkish-mediated peace talks between Syria and Israel, saying Israel should
return the Golan Heights to Syria with no preconditions, reported dpa.
"Tehran will support Damascus in regaining the Golan Heights (from Israel)," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a joint press conference with the visiting Hamas politburo head Khaled Meshaal in Tehran.
Syria is the closest Arab ally of Iran, mainly owing to the anti- Israeli stance of the two countries.
Talks with Israel, regardless of its contents, has always been rejected by Iran as acknowledgement of the Jewish state. Observers in Tehran therefore believe Iran was irritated by the indirect Israeli- Syrian peace talks in Istanbul.
"This (Israeli) regime cannot impose any conditions on Syria for returning the Golan Heights and God willing, they (Israel) will also soon move out of all Palestinian lands," said Mottaki, refraining from directly referring to the Istanbul talks themselves.
Official news agency IRNA quoted Meshaal as saying in the same conference that despite talks with Israel, "Syria should still remain committed to the rights of Palestinians and Arabs."
Meshaal further doubted that Israel's seriousness in the talks and accused the Israeli side of "playing games." He however expressed hope that Syria would not violate any Palestinian rights at the negotiations.