Iran helping with Syrian crackdown

14 June 2011

Tehran providing equipment and training to Syrian security forces

Britain’s Foreign Office has supported reports that Iran is helping the Syrian regime with its crackdown on pro-democracy supporters.

There is credible information that Tehran is supplying riot gear and paramilitary training to Syrian security forces, according to senior foreign office sources.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is also providing technical advice and equipment to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

About 38 people have been killed by security forces in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour since 11 June. It is estimated that 1,200 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March.

Iran is also reported to be supplying specialist electronic equipment to Damascus to shut down internet access and prevent the news about attacks on civilians.

The UK is now expected to push for new EU sanctions on members of the Revolutionary Guard.

William Hague, Britain’s Foreign Secretary says Iran’s behaviour is “unacceptable”.

“As elsewhere in the region, protesters in Syria must be allowed to express their legitimate aspirations and peacefully call for change without fear of brutal repression. Iran’s actions are in stark contrast with the will of the Syrian people,” says Hague.

On 9 June, the US applied new sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses. The sanctions targeted Tehran’s national police, the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia.

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