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Saudis Say Iranian 'Occupiers' In Syria Prevent Role In Finding Peace

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Iran's backing of government forces in Syria prevents it from being able to play a role in efforts to establish peace there.

"The question is: what must Iran do to be part of the solution in Syria?" Jubeir said at a news conference in Riyadh. "The answer is very simple: It has to withdraw from Syria and it has to stop supplying weapons to [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad's regime, and it has to withdraw the Shi'ite militias that it sent...and then it can have a role."

Saudi Arabia itself supports rebel groups which are fighting to oust Assad, though it has no known troops or advisers in Syria.

Jubeir said that Iran is now an "occupier of Arab lands in Syria," and he urged Iran to stop "meddling" in the affairs of Arab countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

Iran denies that has troops in Syria but says it has sent military advisers at Syria's request. Several senior Iranian military commanders have been killed in Syria recently.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP