WASHINGTON, Oct 22 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized killings and massacre in Syria.
"Nobody has the right to kill others -- neither the government nor the opponents. ... We are going to make greater efforts to encourage both the government of Syria and the other side and all parties to reach an understanding. There should be no interference from outside," he said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shot dead on Friday at least 18 anti-Assad protesters whose numbers were swelled by the killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, activists and residents said. The UN human rights office has raised its tally of deaths in Syria's seven months unrest to more than 3000.
Prominent members of Syria’s main opposition bloc urged the countries that are still backing the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to shift their supports toward the Syrian protesters, warning the post-Assad Syria would assess such measures in its foreign policies.
Syrian opposition groups have announced creation of the broad-based Syrian National Council (SNC) earlier in October aimed at unifying their efforts to overthrow the Assad's government, which they accuse of pushing the country to the brink of civil war.
"Everyone realizes any government of Syria will not be friendly to those who are aiding killers and those committing atrocities to the Syrian people," Ausama Monajed, a top member of SNC, said in an interview with the Voice of America’s Persian News Network (VOAPNN) TV talk show, Horizon.
Asking about the stance of Syrian opposition on Tehran, Monajed said the Council would assess different options, and added "certainly the position would be favorable … to those who aided the Syrian people gaining their freedom back and will be not very favorable to those who are still aiding Assad regime." He reaffirmed that Tehran has not contacted the opposition yet.
Iran, that quashed the 2009 street unrests in protest of controversial presidential vote which secured the re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has welcomed the popular uprising in the Arab world but says the unrest in Syria is a "sedition" plotted by enemies.
Iranian officials and media describe the Damascus government as a base of resistance to Israel that has been set upon by the United States and its lackeys in the region.
"We want to have good relations with Iran, but based on mutual interests and mutual respect," Najib Ghadbian, another SNC member, said in the show discussing the latest developments of the Syrian opposition. “Current relation with Iran is not preserving Syria's national interest,” Ghadbian noted.
Some media in the Arab and international press have accused Islamic government of Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, of helping Syrian authorities deal with the popular uprising, a claim which Iran denies.