Photo: Reuters
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Photo: Reuters

Iran warns Israel not to attack Syria

Ahmadinejad says strike on Syria would be considered attack on the whole Islamic world that would bring ‘fierce response’; Rice urges Israel to exercise restraint, Saudis blame Hizbullah for escalation

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday an Israeli strike on Syria would be considered an attack on the whole Islamic world that would bring a “Fierce response”, State television reported.


“If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad.


The president made the comments after Israel struck Beirut airport and military airbases and blockaded Lebanese ports in reprisals that have killed 55 civilians in Lebanon since Hizbullah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers a day earlier.


“He (Ahmadinejad) also said it was a must for the Organization of the Islamic Conference to become more active regarding the new crisis created by the Zionist regime,” State television reported.


Iran’s Islamic government has never recognized Israel and routinely refers to the Jewish state as the “Zionist regime”.


Iran has close ties with Syria, and with Hizbullah.


'Syria needs to act responsibly'


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel on Thursday to exercise restraint in its attacks against Lebanese targets and demanded Syria press Hizbullah guerrillas to stop attacking Israel.


“It is extremely important that Israel exercise restraint in its acts of self defense,” She told reporters traveling with US President George W. Bush in Germany.


She said the message was being sent through numerous diplomatic channels and added: “I think they understand the need to exercise restraint.” she said Syria has been “Sheltering the people who have been perpetrating these acts” Against Israel, including launching rocket attacks into northern Israel and abducting Israeli soldiers.


“Syria needs to act responsibly and stop the use of its territory for these kinds of activities. They need to bring all pressure on those that it is harboring to stop this and to return these soldiers and to allow the situation to be de-escalated,” Rice said.


Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia blamed “elements” inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel, in unusually frank language directed at Hizbullah and its Iranian backers.


“A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures undertaken by elements inside (Lebanon) and those behind them without recourse to the legal authorities and consulting and coordinating with Arab nations,” a statement published on the official news agency SPA said.


“These elements should bear the responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis they have created.”


פרסום ראשון: 07.14.06, 00:52
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