05:47 GMT17 April 2021
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    Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, told Sputnik on Wednesday that Iran is being used as a scapegoat in order to provide Israel with a reason to strike against Syrian government positions.

    "They're just using Iran as a scapegoat or as an excuse to strike Syrian government positions to weaken them," he told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear. "I don't think in the long term this will serve Israeli interest or Western interest."

    ​Earlier on Wednesday, Bashar Jaafari, the permanent representative of the Syrian mission to the United Nations, told members at the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting that should Israeli officials launch a strike on the Damascus International Airport, it may force the Syrian government to retaliate on Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport.

    "Isn't it is the right time for this council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country?" Jaafari questioned. "Or should we attract the attention of the war makers in this council by exercising our legitimate right for self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Airport by launching an aggression against Tel Aviv Airport?"

    Citing Israeli sources, the Middle East Monitor reported that Jaafari suggested Israel was able to act freely in Syria on account of it receiving support from the US, UK and France in the UNSC.

    Marandi told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that Jaafari's move is ultimately sending a message to the region that the "Syrian government is the only government that stands up to Israeli aggression."

    "It also strengthens the argument of Hezbollah that it should have a strong military force in the south, especially since Israel is using Lebanese air space illegally to attack Syria," he added. "And it shows Israel to be a regime that is provocative and aggressive, because it keeps striking Syria, whereas Syria has never struck the Israeli regime."

    Earlier this week, Israeli firm ImageSat released photos showing the damage caused by Israeli airstrikes near the Damascus International Airport. According to reports, the strikes lasted for a period of two days, with Syrian air defense forces being able to intercept at least 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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