TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Iranian officials, at the opening of a summit in Tehran on ending the bloody rebellion in Syria, blamed foreign conspirators for the uprising.
About 200 representatives of the Syrian government and various opposition parties and ethnic groups traveled to the Iranian capital for Sunday's National Syrian Dialogue Meeting.
The theme was ending violence and developing democracy in Syria but the consensus among the Iranian delegation seemed to be agreement with the Damascus regime's contention the rebellion was the work of hostile powers.
"We believe that today's conflicts in Syria have been imposed by hegemonic powers on the Syrians," said Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi.
Salehi said an important step toward peace would be a "strong response to the plans entailing foreign intervention" and countering "irresponsible armed groups" inside Syria, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.