Natural for Iran not to be invited to "Friends of Syria" meeting - expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 29 /Trend S.Isayev, T. Jafarov/
Iran sees Syria's opposition council as a puppet in the hands of the United States, therefore it is natural for Iran not to be invited to the "Friends of Syria" group meeting, director at the Centre for Arab & Iranian Studies Alirza Nurizadeh told Trend.
The expert was commenting on the upcoming "Friends of Syria" group meeting, which is set to be held in Turkey on April 1. Russia was officially invited to participate but refused, while Iran did not receive any invitation at all.
First such meeting took place in Tunisia on Feb. 24, where China and Russia did not participate.
Nurizadeh noted that both Iran and Russia all this time have provided Syria with both mental and political support, military support and security.
"During the first such meeting in Tunisia, the participating countries have expressed thoughts that Syria's opposition council could be a substitute for Assad's regime," Nurizade said. "Iran sees Syria's opposition council as a puppet in the hands of the United States. Therefore, it is natural for Iran not to be invited to the "Friends of Syria" meeting".
Iran's parliament member Esmail Kovsari believes that if Iran was not invited to the meeting, it means that the group wants to draw away from the important issues.
"Iran is Syria's closest friend, and it was not invited to the "Friends of Syria" group meeting. If such group meeting should have been organized, Iran should have been the center of it", Kovsari told Trend.
Kovsari underscored that Turkey has made a mistake in the past, when it supported the Syrian opposition.
"Now Turkey s hosting this "Friends of Syria" group meeting, which means ambiguity on its part. This is unacceptable", he said.
Earlier, Syrian authorities accepted Kofi Annan's proposed plan to resolve the crisis in the country. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a statement expressing "full support" to Annan's proposals on March 21.
Anti-government protests which began in mid-March have persisted in Syria for almost a year. Daily reports are being received about the deaths of people, both civilians and the security forces. According to UN statistics, the total number of victims in the country exceeds 9,000 people.
The Syrian authorities accuse armed militants of the clashes saying they receive assistance from neighboring countries.