When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the U.N. Security Council last week to support the Syrian people in their struggle against the repression of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, she spoke of the brutality of the regime:
“For many months the people of the region and the world have watched in horror as the Assad regime executed a campaign of violence against its own citizens. Civilians gunned down in the streets, women and children tortured and killed.”
But the Iranian government’s English TV channel reports that Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi in a newspaper interview “hailed Syrian President Bashar Assad for his remarkable actions in conducting reforms in his country, and warned against any hasty move by certain states against Syria.”
The United Nations says the death toll in Syria now stands at 5,400 people -- and counting. Iran supports Assad rhetorically and backs his regime’s brutal campaign practically -- with equipment, strategic advice and personnel. In testimony before Congress, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus explained why:
“Clearly the loss of Syria as a logistics platform, a line of communication into Lebanon to support Hezbollah would be a substantial setback for Iran in its efforts to use Hezbollah as a proxy, and that is indeed why the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds force is so engaged in trying to prop up Bashar al Assad right now.”
Secretary of State Clinton says the nations of the world are faced with a choice: “Stand with the people of Syria and the region, or become complicit in the continuing violence there.”
The Iranian government has made its choice -- as it did when the Iranian people took to the streets in 2009: for a brutal dictatorship and against a people struggling for their rights, dignity and a better future.