Iran condemns Damascus bombing, says talks needed

DUBAI Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:19am EDT

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran condemned the suicide bombing in Damascus on Wednesday that killed the Syrian defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law, and said foreign backing for "terrorist acts" would not succeed in destabilizing Syria.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly condemned violence and resorting to destructive measures, and believes that the only way of resolving the current crisis in Syria is through talks... " a foreign ministry statement published by Mehr news agency said.

"Sending weapons and ammunition into the country and support from some regional and international players through terrorist actions that target the robust stability and security of Syrian nation will not lead anywhere," it added.

Iran, Syria's regional ally, has steadfastly backed Assad since the uprising against his family's rule began 16 months ago, and has repeatedly called on Syrians themselves to find a solution to the unrest without foreign interference.

"Any type of instability in this country can fuel convulsion and crisis in the region and cause wider violence and unrest," the statement added.

Earlier this week, Iranian officials said Tehran was ready to host talks between the two sides but some Syrian opposition figures swiftly refused the offer.

(Reporting By Marcus George, editing by Tim Pearce)

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