Washington – US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised some eyebrows during the last presidential debate on foreign policy when he suggested that Syria is Iran’s main route to the sea.
“Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea,” Romney had said during the debate.
According to the Huffington Post, a look at the map reveals that Iran does not border Syria, and that Iran has access to the sea in both its north and south.
In fact, Iran, a close ally of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has direct access to international waters through its large coastline on the Gulf and is not even a neighbour to Syria in order to rely on it as a route to the sea, the report said.
Instead, Syria gives Iran a physical access to Lebanon and its Hezbollah militia which is strategically important for Tehran leaders because of the group’s geographical position in respect to Israel, it added.
It is not the first time that Romney has referred to Syria as a country that provides Iran with a route to the sea, he has shown extraordinary courage in repeating it at least six times just in the past year.
In March, Romney had made the exact gaffe at AIPAC conference.
“Maybe one of the few bright spots in the Middle East developments in the last year has been the rising of the people in Syria against Assad. Obviously, as you know, Syria is Iran’s only Arab ally in the region. Syria is the route that allows Iran to supply Hezbollah with weapons in Lebanon. Syria is Iran’s route to the sea,” he had said.
He has also previously repeated the reference, including during the CNN presidential primary debate in Arizona in February.
“Syria is their key ally. It’s their only ally in the Arab world. It is also their route to the sea,” he said at the time.
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