MESOP “THE MULLAHS TODAY” Tehran Turns Against Syria Ceasefire

17 Sept 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – In a marked shift of position, Iran turned against the ceasefire in Syria on Friday, blaming the US for exploiting a truce to support opposition to President Assad. The Iranian Foreign Ministry initially supported the ceasefire, which began on Monday after it was arranged by Russia — with Tehran, the major supporter of the Assad regime — and the US. However, the Supreme Leader has maintained silence on the matter.Yesterday the Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, offered an indication of Ayatollah Khamenei’s scepticism. Khatami claimed that the US and its allies “want a ceasefire so that they can reinforce their own positions”.

The cleric then charged, “For as long as the U.S. is in Syria, this country will not see stability”. He said that while Iran “welcomes any method that stops the bloodshed…the US and its Takfiri allies have broken the ceasefire numerous times”.

Iran’s Friday Prayers leaders deliver their sermons with guidance from the Supreme Leader’s office. Other high-level officials also took a tougher line on Friday. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior advisro to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and a former Deputy Foreign Minister, said the US “will merely increase the losses of life and property of the people of Syria and the region through its political and electoral goals….The sole goal of America’s efforts is the removal of the legal president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.”

Abdollahian accused the US of deception with its promise of intelligence sharing with Russia on airstrikes against the jihadists of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, if the ceasefire holds. The advisor asserted, despite recurrent US strikes on JFS/Nusra since September 2014, “The White House has never targeted this known terrorist group, which is on the UN’s blacklist.”