Iran and Israel accuse each other of being behind Syria war

Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Ali Larijani (right)

The chairman of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, has accused Israel of being behind the war in Syria, several days after Israeli Prime Minister made the same claim against Tehran.

Referring to a speech made by Netanyahu following a recent meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Larijani said, “putting forward conditions for peace, Netanyahu stated that the war in Syria is actually a war against the anti-Zionist resistance.”

Larijani added, “If some of regions leaders have doubts about the fact that the Syrian war does not favour Sunnis Muslims, they must do what is necessary [for a solution].”

In a meeting on Friday, Netanyahu and Putin had discussed Iran’s role in Syria.

“We discussed at length the matter of Iran, its objectives and intentions in Syria, and I clarified that there cannot be a peace deal in Syria when Iran is there and declares its intention to destroy Israel,” said Netanyahu.

The Israeli politician added that there could not be peace with Iran continuing the war in Syria, “and therefore they have to be removed” he added.

Iran, alongside Russia has been one of the staunchest supporters of the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. Thousands of Iranian soldiers (Revolutionary Guards) and also Iran-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah fighters are thought to be fighting against the Islamist opposition in Syria.

Iran and Russia have said they view the fall of the Assad government as further encroachment of hostile forces in the region. Analysts have pointed out Tehran’s steadily increasing influence in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the war in 2011.

Israel has supported Syrian rebel fighters alongside Turkey, Saudi Arabia and European states.