Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Syria backs Iran on nuclear standoff

January 20, 2006


— Syria asserted Thursday that Iran had a right to atomic technology and said Western objections to Tehran's nuclear ambitions were not persuasive.

President Bashar Assad of Syria, a longtime Iranian ally facing its own international criticism, said he backed Tehran's moves toward nuclear power and wanted to strengthen ties.

Also on Thursday, Russia's foreign minister called for a cautious approach to the mounting crisis over Iran's renewal of nuclear research, while a senior U.S. envoy accused Iranian officials of deceiving the world about their intentions.

The U.S. and key European nations have been pushing for Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council, a first step toward possible sanctions over Iran's unsealing equipment earlier this month and announcing the start of small-scale experimental uranium enrichment, a potential step toward nuclear weapons.

Syria is facing its own international condemnation, over its reluctance to cooperate with a U.N. investigation implicating it in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.


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