Syria refutes united front with Iran

Feb. 16, 2005 at 5:52 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A Syrian official Wednesday denied reports of unified Syrian-Iranian cooperation to counter U.S. pressure amid rising tension between Damascus and Washington.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a high-ranking Syrian official told United Press International, "We don't want a common front against anyone."

The official said statements made earlier Wednesday Tehran by Iranian First Vice President, Mohammad Reza Aref, during the visit of Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otari, "were taken out of context."

"It was rhetoric, meant for internal consumption," the official told UPI.

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