Iranian Parliamentary Delegation Arrives in Damascus

A delegation of Iranian parliamentarians arrived in Damascus on Saturday to meet with high-ranking Damascus officials on the latest developments in Syria.

"The Iran-Syria Parliamentary Friendship Group headed by Alaeddin Boroujerdi (who is also the Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission) arrived in Damascus for a three-day visit," Iranian Parliament Speaker's top advisor for international affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam told the Parliament's website today.

"Strengthening the parliamentary relations between Iran and Syria and conferring on regional issues, specially the situation in Syria, are high on the agenda of the group in their meetings with the Syrian parliamentary and government officials," he added, according to FNA.

Sheikholeslam said that four other Iranian MPs also accompany Boroujerdi in the trip.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.


Two hurt in pre-F1 Bahrain unrest, police used teargas

 Two people were injured in an overnight attack on police in Bahrain, authorities said on Saturday, as activists called for a new attempt to march on the capital's former Pearl Square ahead of the Grand Prix.

Preparations for Sunday's Formula One race at the Sakhir circuit in the south were unaffected by the unrest.

"Targeting police patrols with Molotov cocktails on Isa Al-Kabeer road led to injuring two Asians," the interior ministry announced on its Twitter account late on Friday without elaborating.

"They were referred to hospital. "The February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, a cyber-group that had called a week-long campaign dubbed "Volcanic Flames", urged supporters on Twitter to march on the focal point of protests in early 2011.

"We will march today Saturday towards the epicenter of the revolution," the group announced. Police on Friday fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse protesters trying to stage a similar march to the roundabout formerly known as Pearl Square before authorities razed it following a crackdown on the February-March 2011 protests.

Opposition demonstrators have been protesting to highlight pro-reform demands and have urged solidarity from teams taking part in Sunday's race.

Supporters of the February 14 movement have campaigned for the race to be cancelled, calling it a "crime".

Sunday's race is seen as a boost to the image and economy of the tiny Gulf monarchy, according to Voice of Russia, AFP, RT

Security forces have been on high alert during days of protests to prevent clashes from marring the race, with checkpoints at major intersections, especially on roads leading to the racing circuit.

The month-long 2011 protests in Bahrain, home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, were crushed with the help of Gulf troops led by neighboring  Saudi Arabia.



Iran, Russia to Intensify Diplomatic Efforts to Find Political Solution to crisis in Syria

Several Russian officials will visit Tehran in the next few days to discuss bilateral ties and also work out joint diplomatic efforts to encourage a political solution to the crisis in Syria, senior parliamentary sources revealed on Saturday.

Hossein Sheikholeslam, a top advisor of the Iranian parliament speaker for international affairs, said Deputy Head of the Russian Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov is scheduled to arrive in Tehran at the head of a parliamentary delegation on Sunday,according to FNA.

He added that Mikhail Bogdanov, the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle-East, is also due to join the first delegation on Wednesday to discuss further expansion of parliamentary and bilateral relations and explore avenues for a negotiated end to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Sheikholeslam stressed the two countries' close positions on the developments in the region, especially on Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, and said, "The visit (by the Russian officials) will provide a good opportunity for Iran and Russia, as two countries which are calling for and insisting on the cessation of violence in Syria, to exchange views and possibly work out joint political and diplomatic efforts for a political solution to the crisis in Syria."

Sheikholeslam further reiterated regional solutions to the crisis in Syria, and said China and Russia should play an active role in working out such solutions, adding that partnership of all the relevant parties in a political trend to end the crisis is amongst the duties of Iran's diplomatic apparatus.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against the Syrian police, border guards, statesmen, army and the civilians being reported across the country.

Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.


"Arab Spring" Aims to Fragment the Arab Region- Baqradouni

BEIRUT,(ST)_ Former Lebanese Minister and MP Karim  Baqradouni  stressed that the so-called Arab Spring is Western storms hit the Arab region to fragment it into small states in the service of Israel and that  the Western war being waged against Syria falls within this framework.

In an interview for the Syrian TV on Friday evening  Baqradouni said : Lebanon 's interest lies in  solving the crisis in Syria peacefully as soon as possible  , adding that Syria was able to protect the unity of Lebanon explaining that there is no self- distancing regarding  what is happening in Syria because   what is happening in Syria is practically, and historically  of a direct impact on Lebanon.

He indicated the great volume of  weapon and armed men  sent to Lebanon and then to Syria, funded and ordered by Gulf  countries, pointing to the need  of controlling Lebanese-Syrian border to prevent the entry of militants and weapons into Syrian territory.

He continued that  the Arab League never solved any  Arab problem in its history, and Lebanon suffered from it for fifteen years.

"Israel achieved its objectives without human or material losses, and it is  the main  beneficiary of what is happening in certain Arab countries, without making any war," he added

He went on that  the solution is Syrian and that the Syrians are able to overcome their problems, stressing that the Syrian army foiled all conspiratorial schemes against their country  and surprised everyone by its steadfastness, solidarity and ability to maintain Syria 's unity.

T. Fateh

Jordanian Security Prevented Displaced Syrians Back Home

AMMAN,(ST)_Several Syrians were wounded when Jordanian security forces fired tear gas on displaced  Syrians on Friday in al-Zaatari refugee camp in the northern Transjordan

The Jordanian (Tell me)  on line said Jordanian security forces prevented by force  a Syrian family from escaping from the camp, and riots and violence  widespread during which the  displaced threw stones at the security personnel who responded by firing tear gas canisters.

Five  displaced Syrians, and ten Jordanian security men fainted from inhaling tear gas while a number of Syrians in the camp were arrested , as reinforcements were sent to the security forces from different parts of the camp, which is located near Mafraq city .

Syrians who were displaced by the armed terrorist groups backed by Western countries and the Gulf to the Zaatari camp suffer  difficult humanitarian conditions and are  prevented  from returning back to Syria .

T. Fateh