Syria attack: Iran not to remain neutral | india | Hindustan Times
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Syria attack: Iran not to remain neutral

Iran will not remain neutral if America attacks Tehran's ally Syria, but military strikes against US forces are not an option.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2003 12:22 IST

Iran will not remain neutral if America attacks Tehran's ally Syria, but military strikes against US forces are not an option, Iran's former Revolutionary Guards chief said on Tuesday.

"We will not be neutral if the US attacks Syria. We will not engage in military confrontation with the Americans but will employ all our non-military facilities to prevent such an attack or to support Syria," Mohsen Rezaei told a press conference without elaborating.

The Bush administration has accused Syria of harbouring remnants of Saddam Hussein's toppled regime, supporting terrorism and possessing chemical weapons, increasing fears that Syria is America's next target.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday raised the possibility of diplomatic and economic sanctions on Syria. President George W. Bush over the weekend warned Damascus to "cooperate, " but was ambiguous about what price Syria might pay for defying America.

Rezaei, now secretary of Iran's powerful advisory Expediency Council, said Iran was "happy" to see Saddam ousted because he "invaded our country, devastated our economy and killed hundreds of thousands of our troops and civilians" during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.