Top Iranian Official Calls Obama 'Incompetent,' Reports of Iranian Nukes 'Laughable'

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Iran Backs Assad Regime in Syria

One day after Jordan's King Abdullah recommended Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down in the midst of a brutal crackdown against an anti-government uprising, Larijani said Iran continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with its close ally and neighbor.

"Future relations with Syria will be as strong with Iran as they are now," he said.

He blamed the U.S. and Israel for sparking violence. Iran, he said, is "against using military force to interfere in this process in the region. The main objective is not helping Syria but helping Israel. The West should leave Syrian affairs to themselves."

Larijani had criticism for his own government as well, however. As an advisor to the judiciary and head of Iran's human rights council, he believes Iran executes too many people.

"I'm definitely not happy with the number of executions," he said. "I've been working hard on that but unfortunately didn't make progress."

He notes that 74 percent of executions in Iran are for drug-related crimes.

"Parliament has decided the law should be tough," said Larijani. "I do not agree with this law. It should be changed. If we change the law then 74 percent of executions will be dropped. The result of this law has not brought down trafficking or drug use."

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Even Larijani's swipe at Iran, however, contained a rebuke for the West. He noted that most of those executed were involved in trafficking drugs to the West.

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