British Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Iran for its role in helping Syria quell the anti-government protests sweeping the country, according to the Daily Telegraph. More specifically, Hague has accused Iran of providing "equipment" and logistical support to Syria and demonstrating "hypocrisy in world affairs."
Hague's remarks are not the first British accusation leveled against Iranian-Syrian cooperation in suppressing recent protests. The top British diplomat in Iran was summoned to Tehran last Thursday to recant earlier British statements on the issue.
The most recent criticism is in response to the discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of at least 10 Syrian soldiers outside military police headquarters in the northern town of Jisr al-Shaghur, the Telegraph reports. This town made headlines earlier last week when Syrian forces launched a tank-led crackdown on protesters, causing thousands to flee to Turkey.
A Syrian military defector also told Al-Arabiya that he had been forced to fire on several soldiers last week in Jisr al-Shaghur for ignoring orders not to shoot unarmed civilians and using women and children as human shields. The government has claimed, however, that the soldiers and up to 120 others were killed by "armed gangs" in the area, and used this as a pretext for the violent operation against the town.
Despite the prolonged chaos and strong British, French, and American support for a United Nations resolution condemning the violence in Syria, efforts to initiate an international-military intervention have been thwarted by China and Russia who oppose UN condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In light of this opposition, Hague asserted that there is "no prospect" of passing a resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Syria. Drawing a comparison to the conflict in Libya, Hague also said the Arab League has made "no such call" for intervention in Syria similar to its support for action in Libya.
The ongoing protests in Syria to put an end to President Assad's 11-year reign have claimed the lives of at least 1,100 civilians so far.