Iranian MP Warns Against Intervention
by Jason Ditz, February 20, 2012
Iranian MP Hossein Ebrahimi, one of the top ranking members of the nation’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Commission, today slammed calls by top US officials to begin smuggling arms into Syria.
“The presence of Iran and Russia’s flotillas along the Syrian coasts has a clear message against the United States’ possible adventurism,” Ebrahimi warned. US military commander Gen. Martin Dempsey has said any efforts to arm the rebels would be “premature.”
The US is far from the only nation liable to smuggle weapons into Syria, however, and the Arab League has already passed a resolution approving efforts to provide such aid to the various fighters seen as favorable to its faction. In addition, Turkey is openly backing the Free Syrian Army (FSA), while al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is sending arms and fighters into the nation across the porous Iraqi border.
Iranian officials explained the arrival of two Iranian warships at Tartus, the same port that already houses Russian warships, as a sign that both nations are willing to make an effort to prevent arms smuggling. It is unlikely the ships will have much practical impact, however, as Syria has enormous land borders that are difficult to guard and would be more favorable for such smuggling.