Ali Akbar Salehi

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has lauded Syria’s promises to institute parliamentary elections and allow the establishment of several political parties, calling them necessary reforms.

Minister Salehi told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA): “Unfortunately, a number of countries that are trying to pressure the Syrian government are not satisfied with these reforms and keep pressing them with new demands.”

He added that Syria is one of the “main links in the chain of resistance in the region, and its vital place should be guarded.”

In July, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused the U.S. of trying to link the situation in Syria with the popular uprisings in other Arab and North African countries as a way to encumber the Syrian government. He said: “Syria is part of the line of resistance, and what’s happening in Syria is essentially different from what is happening in the other regional countries.”

More recently, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem accused Western countries of creating a crisis in Syria. In a speech to the UN General Assembly on September 26, Mouallem said foreign intervention is at the root of months of unrest in his country.

He added that the unrest has forced a delay in instituting the reforms promised by Syrian President Beshar Assad.

The Syrian foreign minister went on to add that the sanctions imposed on his country by the U.S. and the European Union have made it difficult for ordinary citizens to meet their daily needs.

Syrian protesters have been active since March, demanding reforms and an end to government corruption.