TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said Sunday the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria was unhelpful and played into the hands of foreign countries at a time when President Bashar al-Assad’s reforms should be given a chance.
“The statement of the Arab League about developments in Syria will not only not help to solve the problem but will complicate the issue,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
Non-Arab Iran is closely allied with Syria and both support militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah and while Tehran has backed uprisings of the “Arab Spring” that have toppled Sunni Muslim dictators, it has maintained support for Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect.
“The issuance of the Arab League statement happened as foreign forces are trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria,” Mehmanparast said, calling for dialogue and actions “in line with maintaining peace and stability.”
“The ground is prepared for success in the reforms being implemented by the president of Syria and the people of that country.”
Syria has called for an emergency summit of Arab League heads of state in an apparent attempt to thwart the suspension decision.
Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Robin Pomeroy