Iran begins to change stance toward Syrian regime

Iran is reviewing its defense of the Syrian regime and Bashar al-Assad has threatened to inform the US of Hizbullah's weapon storage in Lebanon if Iran abandons him, informed sources have told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

A regional meeting recently held in Tehran involving several leading Islamic figures, discussed a number of issues that concern the Islamic world, the top being the Syrian crisis.

Although Iran has begun to change its stance toward the Syrian regime, it is concerned about who would succeed it, said the sources.

The Iranian side is concerned about the fall of Assad's regime for three reasons, they added. The first is that the absence of the Syrian regime could lead Iranians into a direct confrontation with Israel and the US; the second is that the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Syria are hostile toward Shias; and the third is that there is uncertainty of what the new regime's stance would be toward Hizbullah.

Assad also feels that the Iranian position has started to change, especially after Ayatollah Khamenei announced its suspension of financial aid to Syria, adding that Iran's support would be only through media, the sources said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a recent statement that Assad should stop using excessive force to suppress protests, as military force was never the right solution to such a crisis.

Ahmadinejad said freedom, justice and respecting others are essential rights for all people and that all governments should recognize them and resolve problems through dialogue. The Iranian president called for talks between the Syrian government and its opponents in order to implement reforms.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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