Iran warns Israel against attacking Syria

DAMASCUS - Iran will “cut off Israel’s feet” if the Jewish state attacks Damascus, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Rida Rahimi vowed on Friday at the end of a two-day visit to key regional ally Syria.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 30 Apr 2010, 7:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:37 AM

“We will stand alongside Syria against any (Israeli) threat,” Rahimi said at a news conference with Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otri.

“If those who have violated Palestinian land want to try anything we will cut off their feet,” he said in reference to the Jewish state.

Rahimi described Syria as a “strong country that is ready to confront any threat” and pledged that Tehran “will back Syria with all its means and strength.”

On Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran and Syria of arming Hezbollah with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles which he said undermined stability in the region.

And on Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah.

“President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region,” she warned.

Earlier this month, Israeli President Shimon Peres claimed that Syria was supplying the militant Shiite group Hezbollah with Scud missiles.

Syria has denied the charges.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006 during which it fired more than 4,000 rockets on the Jewish state.

Israel estimates that Hezbollah has since stockpiled more than 40,000 rockets, some of which could reach major Israeli population centers, and has warned it stood ready for any attack by the Lebanese group.

Despite a 1949 armistice agreement, Israel remains technically at war with Syria, which was among those that battled the nascent Jewish state in the 1948 Israeli-Arab war.

Assad recently indicated willingness to resume indirect Turkish-mediated peace talks, which were suspended when Israel launched its devastating Gaza Strip offensive in December 2008.

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