In Shift, Iran's President Calls for End to Syrian Crackdown

(New York Times) Neil MacFarquhar - On Thursday, President Ahmadinejad of Iran called for President Assad to end his violent crackdown of an uprising challenging his authoritarian rule in Syria. As Assad's forces continue to shoot unarmed demonstrators, Iran sees its fortunes fading on two fronts: its image as a guardian of Arab resistance has been battered, and its most important regional strategic ally is in danger of being ousted. Syrian protesters take it as a matter of faith that security forces from both Iran and Hizbullah have been drawn into the fray, trading cellphone videos that are said to show Hizbullah fighters streaming across the border in black SUVs. Analysts are convinced that behind the scenes the Iranians are pushing for a tough line, suggesting that their repression of the 2009 democracy protests in Iran is the model to follow.

2011-09-09 00:00:00

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