Iran to aid Syria against threats
"An embattled Syria yesterday turned to Iran for help, with the two countries declaring they would create a "common front" to confront threats. After meeting Naji al-Otari, Syria's prime minister, in Tehran yesterday, Reza Aref, Iranian vice-president, said it was necessary to build a united front because the two countries faced "several challenges". Syrian officials later sought to tone down the remarks made in Tehran, saying they had no intention of forming a common front against the US. "Syria is trying to engage constructively with the US. We are not the enemy of the US and we do not want to be drawn into such an enmity," Imad Mustafa, Syrian ambassador to the US, told CNN." (Financial Times)
"Regarded as rogue states by the White House, Iran is under pressure over its nuclear ambitions, while Syria came under renewed scrutiny over the assassination this week of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. (...) The potential for further conflict in the region was highlighted yesterday by the reaction of the financial markets to speculative reports of an explosion near a nuclear facility in Iran. Oil prices surged by more than a dollar. It later emerged that the explosion had been caused during construction of a dam." (Guardian)
"In a reaction to Iran and Syria's possible formation of a unified front to face threats, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called on the both countries to abide by the international commitments. "It is a fundamental misreading of the issue because their problem is not with the United States, it's with the international community," McClellan told reporters traveling with President Bush to New Hampshire. "Both Syria and Iran have international obligations and they need to abide by the commitments they have made to the international community." (Reuters)
"In view of the special conditions faced by Syria, Iran will transfer its experience, especially concerning sanctions, to Syria," Mohammad Reza Aref, Iran's first vice president, said after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otari. " (Jerusalem Post)
"The Syrian ambassador to the United States when asked what the common front was, emphasised that it was not an anti-American alliance and that Damascus was trying to improve its relations with Washington. "Today we do not want to form a front against anybody, particularly not against the United States," Imad Moustapha said." (Aljazeera.com)
More tension in the Middle East since this "common front" has been announced. This alliance is almost a proof that a war may be waged in the future by the US against both countries. It may also be an attempt to deflect calls for an international inquiry on the murder of Mr. Hariri.
The more tension there is in the region, the more diplomacy should be used to solve the causes of these tensions.
Meanwhile, the CIA quietly reports that the conflict in Iraq is fuelling terrorism.
Financial Times, UK:
Jerusalem Post, Israel: