Iranian Higher Council. Offers assistance
Photo: Reuters
Al-Shara. 'Israel looking for tension'
Photo: AP
Abdullah. Ignored incident
Photo: AP
Israeli aircraft (archives)
Photo: AFP

Iran: Israel will be responsible for escalation in region

Tehran's ambassador to Damascus says violation of Syrian airspace by Israeli aircraft is 'intolerable attempt to create tension in the region'. He adds that 'Israel must act reasonably and not cause another war'. Syrian vice president: Israel proves it does not want peace

Iranian Ambassador to Damascus Mohammad Hassan Akhtari on Thursday condemned the alleged violation of the Syrian airspace by Israeli aircraft.


According to a report on the Iranian Broadcasting Authority's website. Akhtari telephoned senior Syrian officials and defined the incident as an "intolerable attempt to create tension in the region."


Akhtari said that "Israel would be responsible for any escalation in the region and it must act reasonably and not cause another war."


Earlier, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported that Akhtari turned to Syrian security sources and told them that "Iran would be ready to offer any assistance needed under the existing circumstances."


In addition, Akhtari called on the world's countries to demand explanations from Israel for its actions, and prevent the Jewish state from creating new conflicts in the region.


In an effort to also recruit the moderate Arab countries in the Middle East to respond to the incident, he added, "Countries with a sense of responsibility should condemn this incident and warn Israel against the recurrence of such incidents."


Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara said Thursday that "this military act of provocation by Israel proves that Israel, contrary to its claims, is not working for the creation of an atmosphere that will pave the road to peace, but is working to create tension in the region.


In a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, al-Shara added that "the different Israeli statements prove these attempts, and do not contradict them."


'Israel should refrain from entering Syrian airspace'

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry had expressed its hope that Israel would refrain from entering Syria's airspace again, to prevent upsetting the regional security situation.


Jordan's King Abdullah II, who met in Amman with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs David Welch, did not refer to the Syrian incident. Abdullah told the top American official that the US must work hard to guarantee the success of an international peace conference scheduled for November.


"America must work hard to guarantee that the upcoming conference would culminate in substantial progress in the peace process," the official Petra news agency quoted Adbullah as saying.


Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad SIniora also ignored the incident on Thursday, but urged Syria to step up its efforts to prevent arms smuggling into Lebanon, echoing a request made by the United Nations in June after it investigated security along the two countries' shared border.


The UN resolution that ended last summer's war between Israel and Hizbullah banned weapon transfers to the Iranian- and Syrian-backed militant group, but the Lebanese and Israeli governments have criticized alleged violations by Syria.


Dudi Cohen and news agencies contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.06.07, 22:43
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