Iranian official: NATO preparing the ground for intervention in Syria
NATO is preparing the ground for military intervention in Syria under the pretext that the security of Turkey, which is a NATO member, has been threatened, according to Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader, MNA reported.
Velayati made the remarks in Tehran on Saturday in reference to the recent exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.
On Wednesday, NATO condemned the Syrian attack on the town of Akcakale, in southeastern Turkey, in which five Turkish citizens were killed and nine others were injured when artillery shells landed on the town, the Anadolu Agency reported.
Velayati, who formerly served as Iran's foreign minister, said, "Today, NATO is ready to issue a threat against Syria and intends to enter Syria under the pretext that one of the members of this organization... the neighboring country, has been threatened."
Certain Western countries are seeking to drag NATO into regional issues, he stated, adding, "The West is digging a hole so that Turkey, Syria, and the entire region will become stuck in it and the Islamic Awakening will be overshadowed. Regional countries, including Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, should remain vigilant because the United States and its allies have plots for regional countries."
Velayati added that the first pretext provided by the West for interference in Syria's internal affairs was that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was not responding to legitimate public demands.
"(But) when the West came to the conclusion that the people are supporters of the government, they decided to dispatch foreign mercenaries to Syria and also encouraged neighboring countries to support them," he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Velayati mentioned the remarks that Burhan Ghalioun, the former chairman of the Syrian National Council, made on November 30, 2011, in which he said that "there will be no special relationship with Iran" if members of the council come to power in Syria.
"These remarks revealed the hands of the Westerners in Syrian developments," the Leader's advisor stated.
On Iran's stance toward Syria, Velayati said, "We have helped and are helping and will support Syria's territorial integrity and the interests of the people and the government, provided that the reforms continue."