Supporting 'the Oppressed' Centerpiece of Foreign Policy

Supporting 'the Oppressed' Centerpiece of Foreign PolicySupporting 'the Oppressed' Centerpiece of Foreign Policy

A lawmaker says Iran's bid to support for "the oppressed" across the world, including the people of Syria, are unstoppable.  

"In fact, our foreign policy is structured on supporting the oppressed people around the world," Heshmatollah Falahatpishe told ICANA on Friday.

"Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and under various administrations, these efforts never stopped."

The legislator was responding to an Al-Monitor report that quoted unnamed US sources as saying that Iran's policy on war-ravaged Syria is likely to change as Iranian officials are seemingly inclined to stop supporting Syria in its fight against terrorism.

Falahatpishe, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, rejected the report and said the claim has originated from "a lack of knowledge" about the  principles of Iran's foreign policy.

Al-Monitor reported on June 17 that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at meetings in Norway two weeks ago, had allegedly signaled that he has more authority on Iran's Syria policy than in the past, and Tehran may be prepared to "show more flexibility to advance a solution".

The source of the report was "a US nongovernmental body who met Zarif on the sidelines of the Oslo Forum."

Falahatpishe touched on media speculations that the recent replacement of deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs is another sign of Iran's possible shift on Syria.

Dismissing the speculations, he said, "Our policies will not change with the replacement of people."

On June 19, the Foreign Ministry announced that its spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, was replacing Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who in turn was appointed adviser to Zarif.

Following the announcement, there were speculations that there are some differences in Tehran on Syria and Amir-Abdollahian's substitution is an effort to revise some aspects of the foreign policy.


*** Propaganda Stunt

Another member of the parliamentary panel, Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani rejected media reports as "a propaganda stunt".

He told ICANA on Friday that "all branches of power are moving in harmony and the propaganda campaign by western powers was futile."

Syria is in the grip of a deadly foreign-backed insurgency since March 2011. The standoff between the Syrian army and rebels seeking to topple the government has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and left millions injured and displaced.

Iran, along with Russia, is a main ally of President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against the terrorists groups that enjoy the backing of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and western powers.  

Tehran and Moscow say Assad's government is legitimate and the decision on Syria's political future rests with the people of that country alone. But the other side, notably Saudi Arabia, insists that Assad should leave office.