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Iran hails Russia, Chinese UN veto on Syria

(AFP) / 5 February 2012

TEHERAN — Iran on Sunday welcomed the Russian and Chinese veto on a UN Security Council resolution condemning its ally Syria for its crackdown on dissent, the official IRNA news agency reported.

‘By vetoing the proposed sanctions China and Russia have been just,’ Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.

‘The Security Council has become a tool for the West’s bullying ... of other nations, and this time Russia and China stood up against it,’ the Islamic republic’s top diplomat said.

‘The Security Council ... wanted to take a path in deciding a head of state, while it is not within the functions of this council to interfere in other nations’ internal affairs,’ he said.

Russia and China on Saturday blocked a Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its crackdown on protests, drawing condemnation from other global powers and the Syrian opposition.

The other 13 countries in the 15-member council voted for the resolution, proposed by European and Arab nations to give strong backing to an Arab League plan calling for President Bashar Al Assad to hand over to his deputy.

Syria is Iran’s main ally in the Arab world.

The United States and France accuse Iran of supplying Syria with arms to put down a revolt which has seen at least 6,000 people killed since last March, according to opposition activists.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last Tuesday warned against US interference in Syria’s internal affairs while saying he backed reform for the Syrian people.



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