Iran Will Support Russian Attempt to End Syrian Crisis
After meeting with his Russian counterpart Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Iran remains determined to support Moscow’s attemps to end the Syrian crisis, including plans to host talks on the conflict. “The Syrian conference in Russia will hopefully be an opportunity to support the plans of (UN-Arab League envoy) Kofi Annan and we are determined to aid Russia in this regard,” Salehi said in a joint press conference, while reiterating Iran’s stance that the conflict should be settled internally between the Syrian government and opposition, without any foreign interference.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International warned that five members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority face execution after being convicted of “enmity against God”. Amnesty says that the men, who were sentenced to death in April 2011 on charge of killing a law enforcement official, were all tried unfairly. “Their families have said the men ‘confessed’ to murder, but did so under torture or other ill-treatment,” Amnesty said.
The news comes as an Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court, his daughter said Tuesday. Abdolfattah Soltani, arrested last year, was co-founded a human rights group with Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. He was arrested last year. Amnesty International maintains Soltani is a “non-violent political prisoner who is being jailed only for his legitimate activities’’ as a human rights lawyer.