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Terrorism & Security

Iran's Revolutionary Guard admits to providing military assistance in Syria

Iran confirmed on Sunday what has long been suspected: It is providing assistance to the Syrian government in its war against an uprising. Iran's Qods Force is also operating in Lebanon.

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An adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denied Mr. Hashemi's accusation, and said that Iraq was not taking sides in the Syrian conflict. Hashemi, a vocal critic of Mr. Maliki and his government, was recently found guilty of murder in absentia and sentenced to death by an Iraqi court, and has been in de facto exile in Turkey.  Hashemi claims that the charges against him were fabricated for political advantage.

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Europe Editor

Arthur Bright is the Europe Editor at The Christian Science Monitor.  He has worked for the Monitor in various capacities since 2004, including as the Online News Editor and a regular contributor to the Monitor's Terrorism & Security blog.  He is also a licensed Massachusetts attorney.

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Iran is just one of several Middle Eastern nations involved in the Syrian conflict; Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been aiding the rebel forces. Agence France-Presse reports that foreign ministers from all three nations, along with Egypt, are set to meet in Cairo today to attempt to resolve the conflict in Syria, according to Iran's official IRNA news agency.

The gathering of the "contact group" on Syria – an initiative by [Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi] – follows preparatory talks a week ago in the Egyptian capital by lower-ranking officials from the four countries' foreign ministries.

[Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi] told the ISNA news agency before leaving Tehran on Monday that Iran would be setting out its "clear" position on its ally Syria.

"We are very hopeful given that four important countries of the region are gathered to discuss one of the sensitive issues of the region," he was quoted as saying.

AFP adds that United Nations envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is scheduled to attend the meeting. Mr. Brahimi said on Saturday that the Syrian conflict was "getting worse" and that the crisis “has serious consequences on the Syrian people, the region and the entire world.” Bloomberg News reports that Brahimi spoke with several rebel leaders on Sunday, including Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Ageidi, the rebels' top military commander in Aleppo, who said that Brahimi "didn’t have any solutions to offer."


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