World Bulletin/News Desk
Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Alireza Bikdeli downplayed the question on Wednesday when asked to comment on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's claims that suggest that Iran is participating in the fighting in Syria with the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking upon his return from a visit to the US, the prime minister said on Tuesday that the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and others are involved in fighting alongside forces loyal to Assad and slammed his critics for turning a blind eye to that.
Erdogan's statement came as Hezbollah fighters joined the Syrian soldiers and militiamen loyal to Assad during fighting over the weekend in the opposition stronghold of Qusair, a town close to the Lebanese border.
Hezbollah, which in the past has received military and financial support from Syria and Iran, has so far strongly supported the Assad regime politically, as has Iran.
Iranian politics have been quite influential in Syria, especially through Hezbollah.
Bikdeli also warned the Turkish media not to publish negative news that would create problems in relations between Turkey and Iran -- two states that have opposing positions on the Syrian crisis.
“My advice to you is that when you cover the Syrian issue, you take into consideration the consequences of the news. If you just cover the issue from a single perspective, you will surely face problems. Therefore, we should be careful in not writing news that may strain relations between Turkey and Iran,” said Bikdeli.
Turkey and Iran have conflicting policies regarding Syria, a situation that has strained relations over the past several months. Turkey is one of the staunchest supporters of the opposition forces that are trying to topple Assad. In contrast with Turkey, Iran has stood by its ally, Syria, despite the growing international pressure on the Syrian president.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mayıs 2013, 22:55