Obama's ‘Congress request marks US retreat’
Beirut, September 1, 2013
US President Barack Obama's decision to seek Congressional approval before going ahead with a military strike on Syria was the start of a U.S. "retreat", Syrian state media said on Sunday.
"Obama announced yesterday, directly or through implication, the beginning of the historic American retreat," the comments, which were carried in a front-page editorial in Syria's official al-Thawra newspaper, said.
World opinion against attack on Syria: Iran
Meanwhile, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday world opinion stood against any international attack on its ally Syria, pointing to the British parliament's rejection of military action.
"The Americans don't see the wave of hatred of people against their warmongering policies and continue to pursue military actions against Syria, even though these actions have been thwarted in the U.N. Security Council and the British parliament has stated its opposition to military activity," Larijani said, according to the ISNA news agency.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday he had decided to take military action against Syria for its apparent use of chemical weapons but would seek congressional consent, a move likely to delay U.S. action for at least 10 days. France announced on Sunday it would not act alone.
Iran has said the poison gas attack on civilians was carried out by rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not Assad's government.
Another Iranian legislator, Abdolreza Azizi, in a speech on Sunday warned against the intervention of "international deceivers".
"Iranians, Muslims, and freedom-seekers of the world are standing for their belief in peace in the region and they will not compromise on that, let alone tolerate an attack on another Muslim country like Syria which is at the forefront of the resistance," Azizi said, according to parliamentary news agency Icana.
Iran considers Syria and Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah part of an "axis of resistance" against Western and Israeli influence in the Middle East, and has warned that any attack on Syria would engulf the region.
The commander of Iran's Basij paramilitary force, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said on Saturday the United States was using the alleged chemical attack as a pretext "to deal a blow to the resistance in Syria" to protect its ally Israel, according to Iran's English-language Press TV.
An Iranian parliamentary delegation in Damascus met Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on Sunday, Iran's Press TV said, broadcasting images of the talks.
In meetings on Saturday with Syrian officials, the head of the delegation, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, expressed Iran's "readiness to provide all the assistance needed for Syria to stay strong," Press TV said. – Reuters