Hossein Amir Abdollahian, on September 10, 2012
Iran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, pictured on September 10, 2012, said in Jordan on Sunday that his country was ready to provide aid to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who live in the kingdom. © Khaled Desouki - AFP/File
Hossein Amir Abdollahian, on September 10, 2012
AFP
Last updated: January 27, 2013

Iran says ready to help Syrian refugees in Jordan

Iran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said in Jordan on Sunday that his country was ready to provide aid to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who live in the kingdom.

"I met with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and discussed Iran's offer to provide aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as on the Syrian-Lebanese border," Abdollahian told reporters in Amman without elaborating.

Jordan says it is hosting more than 300,000 Syrians, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are 200,000 refugees in Lebanon.

The United Nations has predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries will double to 1.1 million by June if Syria's 22-month conflict -- which it says has killed more than 60,000 people -- does not end.

The UN refugee agency said Friday that more than 6,400 Syrian refugees had fled the country's escalating violence to Jordan's Zaatari camp in the past 24 hours, bringing to over 30,000 the number of arrivals since the start of the month.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister also called for an end to the violence in Syria, where he said a national dialogue was needed to pave the way for a "comprehensive government," according to an Arab translation of comments he made in Farsi.

"It is the best solution," said Abdollahian, warning however against foreign interference "to impose change in Syria."

Iran has staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since an anti-regime uprising first began in March 2011, regarding many Syrian opposition groups as "terrorists" being backed by Western and Arab countries.

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