In an exclusive interview with IRNA on Friday, Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi noted that the Israeli regime and the US are not after a change in Syria’s political system due to the popular support for President Bashar al-Assad.
Mousavi acknowledged that poverty and the corruption of some politicians have sparked protests against the Syrian government and that Damascus must take major steps toward reform. However, he dismissed allegations that Assad is facing a popularity crisis.
“The enemies are well aware that Assad enjoys widespread popularity with the Syrians and he cannot be easily toppled,” said Mousavi, who also serves as Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s advisor on Palestine affairs.
“He is very different from Mubarak and Ben Ali in this regard,” he noted, referring to the deposed Egyptian and Tunisian dictators after decades of autocratic rule in the North African countries.
The Iranian official said the presence of armed thugs, who Damascus blames for the killing of protesters in the country, is due to the failure of the enemies to incite Syrians against the Assad administration.
“The US and Israel as Syria’s main opponents and other enemies, no matter how hard they have tried, have not managed to push more than 10 percent of the country’s population onto the scene and thus have entered the military stage [of their plan],” he stated.
Mousavi added that Syria’s opponents are now seeking to incite people into joining anti-government protests by provoking clashes and bloodshed in the country.
But this ploy has failed largely thanks to the awareness of Syrians, he pointed out.
The Iranian diplomat said all the pressure from Assad’s enemies is focused on winning concessions from him and imposing their will on the Syrian government with regards to regional issues.
He said that unlike Tunisia and Egypt, army forces in Syria have come under attack by armed thugs who seem to be funded and masterminded by sources outside the country. This he said is due to the unpredictable political status that could follow Assad’s fall.
Mousavi called the mounting strategic and political failures in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine the reason for the mounting pressure on Syria, where enemies are trying to take advantage of the people’s legitimate demands.
“If we add the defeat of the Zionist regime [of Israel] in the Gaza War and the 33-day war in Lebanon, their attempts for creating a greater Middle East, the Annapolis conference and their failure in distancing Iran and Syria…one can see the depth of US and Israeli failure… and the reason for their turning to mount pressure on Syria,” he said.