Syrian leadership will remain in power: Iranian official

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Syrian leadership  will remain in power.

Addressing a ceremony held to mark the 34th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the Iranian city of Qom, Ali Akbar Velayati said that President Bashar Al-Assad would remain as the head of the government considering the fact that the Syrian people are aware of the foreign intervention in the internal affairs of their country.

The Iranian official reiterated Tehran’s support for Syria and said the Arab country was the “most important ring [in the chain] of resistance” against the Zionist regime of Israel.

Iran will continue supporting the government and people of Syria, he added.

Many people, including large numbers of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the turmoil that began in Syria nearly two years ago. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country.


Tunisia: Chokri Belaid assassination prompts protests

Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid has been shot dead outside his home in the capital, Tunis.

Relatives say Mr Belaid was shot in the neck and head on his way to work.

He was a prominent opponent of the government and his murder has sparked protests around the country, with police firing tear gas to disperse angry crowds.

President Moncef Marzouki has condemned the killing and is cutting short a visit to France to return home.

This murder robs Tunisia of one of its most courageous and free voices”

He has also cancelled a scheduled appearance at a summit in Egypt to return home.

Tunisia is currently gripped by political crisis as talks on a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle to include a wider range of parties in a coalition led by the Ennahda party have broken down.

BBC Arabic's Wafa Zaiane says this is the first time a political leader has been assassinated since 2011, in a country where political assassinations are rare.

Born in the Jabal al-Joloud area of Tunis in November 1964

 A lawyer and human rights activist, he was also the co-ordinator of the left-leaning Democratic Patriots party

 One of Tunisia's most prominent political figures and an outspoken critic of the government

 Even though his party did not win many seats in the 2011 elections, he remained an important opposition figure who warned against the escalating violence

The Paris-based France 24 TV station has reported that Mr Belaid reportedly received recent death threats.

It said that he died in hospital after being shot by "three men in a black vehicle".

"My brother was assassinated. I am desperate and depressed," Mr Belaid's brother Abdelmajid Belaid told AFP.

Correspondents say that although Mr Belaid's party did not have a large share of the election vote, it spearheaded popular concern over the rising level of political violence in Tunisia.


Enemy Aggression on Syria Threatens Region Security- Berri

BEIRUT,(ST) Speaker of the  Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri, called on  Arab and international  Islamic parliaments to take a clear position in rejection of the  of the Israeli aggression and official terrorism manifested in the air aggression on Syria , targeted a scientific research center in Damascus.
In messages he dispatched   on Tuesday to   the Arab parliamentary Union, the Mediterranean Parliamentary Organization,  the Secretary General of Parliaments Francophone and the Secretaries of the Organization of Asian Parliaments and the  Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic conference, Berri called for solidarity with Syria and support to the efforts  to restore its  security and stability and to preserve Syria 's  people and institutions unity.
"Syria came under Israeli air attack  targeted one of its  facilities  and that  constitutes a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of UN  and various Parliamentary Unions member state," the message read.

He explained that, " the Israeli pretexts for this aggression are untrue categorically   and no one can legalize aggression under the pretext of Israeli security requirements and continue to accept doubled international standards that make Israel a state above the  international law."
Similarly, the Lebanese Foreign Minister  Adnan Mansour condemned the Israeli aggression against Jamraya scientific research center in rural Damascus  and considered it as  an integral part of the continuous Israeli aggression threatens the  region 's security and stability.
This was expressed in statements , the Lebanese minister made made  after  meeting with  the Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr in Cairo on Tuesday  on the sidelines of the preparatory meetings of the Islamic XII Summit.

Mansour also  pointed that he discussed with his Egyptian peer  regional situations concerning Arab and Islamic nations  and conditions  in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.



Al-Azhar backs dialogue to solve crisis in Syria

CAIRO,(ST)_The Cairo-based al-Azhar Institute  underscores need for peacefully solving the crisis in Syria and ceasing violence immediately.

Addressing the Islamic Summit to be held in Cairo, Sheikh of al-Azhar Islamic Institute, Ahmad al-Tayyib said that Islam calls for tolerance and peace and it is better to solve crises, especially in Syria, peacefully according to constructive dialogue.

The two-day Islamic summit is to begin on Wednesday.


Iran’s foreign policy priority, peace and security: Salehi

Iran Foreign Minister in his speech titled ‘Iran's role in regional peace and balance of power’, said; “Iran’s first foreign policy priority is peace and security, not only in the region but also in the whole world.”

Iran Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi has addressed the gathering of 240 political analysts, international media editors, officials from research centers, and German ambassadors and diplomats in the German Council on Foreign Relation ,according to MNA.

He told the audience about the peaceful nature of Iran nuclear activity and said; “IRI has no non-peaceful nuclear activities, and we consider them [non-peaceful nuclear activities] prohibited and unlawful, just like in the Saddam’s imposed war against Iran which he used chemical weapons and we did not retaliated in kind.”

Iran Foreign Minister rejected false claims against the peaceful nature of Iran nuclear programs and said; “Currently, the problem is lack of trust between the two sides.” In a response to a question about the US offer for direct negotiations with Iran, he referred to past successful negotiation with the US in Germany regarding crisis in Afghanistan, and said; “a few days right after that [successful negotiation], then President of the US called Iran the ‘axis of evils’.” 

Dr. Salehi referred to sanctions on Iran and said; “if the US is ready and serious about talks with Iran, they should know that pressure and threat is not compatible with dialogue.” He added; “our nation had decided 34 years ago to be independent, and not under influence of superpowers.”

 “IRI is following its peaceful nuclear program and we are ready to ensure non-proliferation of nuclear activities in the future, provided our peaceful nuclear rights are recognized.”