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Iran urges West to stay out of Syria's domestic affairs

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Violence against protestors in Syria is the country's domestic affair and any foreign interference in the subject cannot be justified, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.

Violence against protestors in Syria is the country's domestic affair and any foreign interference in the subject cannot be justified, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.

The statement comes shortly after British Foreign Secretary William Hague called for stronger international pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad and said military intervention was "not a remote possibility."

"There is no justification to foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs. It will only bring about numerous problems," Mehmanparast said at a news conference in Tehran.

"Any interference of the western forces, especially the Americans, in the internal affairs of the regional countries will merely increase the hatred of the people towards them," the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted the Iranian diplomat as saying.

Iranian leaders have repeatedly criticized Western states for "inciting and making use of" problems and antagonisms in the Syrian society. At the same time, the Iranian leadership also called on al-Assad to hold necessary reforms and prevent events similar to uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, in which longtime rulers were ousted earlier this year.

Syria has been rocked by mass protests demanding reforms and the resignation of al-Assad for almost six months. Pressure from international powers has mounted to end the crackdown, with condemnations from Egypt, Iraq, Russia and Turkey.

About 2,000 civilians are thought to have been killed since protests began in the southern city of Deraa in mid-March. According to government data, over 500 servicemen and security officers were also killed.

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