02/25/2010, 00.00
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Assad defends Iran's nuclear ambitions

The Iranian president visited Damascus and ensured Syrian support, which has no intention of "distancing itself from its neighbour" as called for by Hillary Clinton. The nuclear plants "have a clearly peaceful purpose."

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Iran’s nuclear program "has a clearly peaceful purposes" and Syria "does not intend to distance itself from Tehran." This was the declaration made this morning by the President of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad, who said he was "surprised" by the American request to distance itself from Iran. The Syrian president, on paper an ally of Washington in the war against international terrorism, issued these statements during a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.    

Asked about the request made by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Syria to "begin moving away from Iran," Assad said: "I am surprised that they ask countries to move away from each other. We need to strengthen relations further if the goal really is stability. "    

"We hope - added Assad referring to the Iranian nuclear issue - that others don't give us lessons about our region and our history. Prohibiting an independent state the right to enrich (uranium) raises a new colonial process in the region”.

The Secretary of State said yesterday that there is "hope for a UN resolution condemning Iran's controversial nuclear activities over a period of between thirty and sixty days." Assad responded by explaining that the Summit has served to "reaffirm the depth of the bilateral relations and the intention to improve and strengthen them at all levels and without exception."  

For his part, the Iranian leader added: "If the Zionist entity (Israel) will repeat the mistakes of the past, Syria and Iran will be ready to face them. Israel must understand that the rights of the peoples of the region must be recognised".  The Iranian president, who returned to Damascus 9 months since his last visit, also accused Washington of "wanting to create a Greater Middle East with a large Zionist state. Israel is heading towards its dissolution because it has reached a dead end. We must always be ready for their attack, but not only in words. "


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