Iran has appointed a new ambassador to Syria to replace Ahmad Mousavi, who decided to quit his post amid growing popular protests against President Bashar Al Assad and his rule.Mr. Mousavi might not want to return to Tehran so quickly.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Saturday named Mohammadreza Raouf Sheybani to replace Mr. Mousavi. Mr. Sheybani was the former deputy at the Foreign Ministry’s Islamic Republic Middle East department.
Mr. Moussavi was Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s vice president for legal affairs and a member of the Iranian parliament from the Arab-majority Ahwaz province.
The Kaleme opposition website last week reported that Mr. Mousavi was planning to leave Damascus, amid growing opposition protests against President Assad and his Baathist regime. Syrian authorities were very critical of the ambassador’s decision, Kaleme reported.
“Ahmad Mousavi has made excuses, such as raising the possibility that he may run in Iran's parliamentary election, to explain his sudden departure from Damascus,” the opposition website reported, adding that Mr. Mousavi’s departure was a sign the political situation in Syria was critical.
Keleme quoted an unnamed Syrian diplomat saying that Iranian embassy staff have vacated their homes in Damascus and sent their families back to Iran in fear of the regime’s imminent collapse.
Iran’s support for the crackdown on protesters in Syria has triggered anger against Iranians living in Syria, the diplomat said.
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