Iran remains optimistic towards Syrian talks: official

November 17, 2015

TEHRAN - Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Amir-Abdollahian noted that the battle against terrorism is in progress parallel to political initiatives and overall, Iran thinks positively about the negotiations, however, not so sure to say that there is no disagreement among negotiators.

The recent round of Syrian talks in Vienna was distinguished from earlier versions at least from two perspectives. First, the negotiations ended in an agreement among attending countries. Second, more countries, including Iran, Iraq, Oman and Lebanon also joined the negotiation table.
These latecomers were let in at Iran’s request as Iran asserts that the negotiations would bear fruit only through all neighboring countries’ good offices, Amir-Abdollahian stated.
Shortly after the negotiations, Amir-Abdollahian attended a gathering at Sharif University of Technology where he addressed a gamut of issues, with a focus on Syria.
‘Only the Syrian nation is genuine to determine its fate’
According to Amir-Abdollahian, Iran has been making a strong pitch for the fact that the fate of Syria should be left to the Syrian people themselves not to the negotiation table in Vienna. The Syrian talks, the official added, should persuade terrorism proponents to reconsider their approach to the crisis.
He said politically, the crisis can stop worsening through a democratic election, a prerequisite of which is to put down guns, secure borders, and distinguish opponent groups from terrorist ones.
To achieve this, the ceasefire was included in the final announcement of the talks at Mr. Zarif’s explicit proposal, Amir-Abdollahian reminded.
The international community should be remindful of the fact that terrorist-supporting countries have taken the wrong way, letting the barbarians crossing their borders, the official stressed.
Amir-Abdollahian further opined that strong will of nations is demanded so as to thwart terrorist groups in their attempt to get entry into the Syrian territory and battle against them in earnest.
‘Assad is the legitimate president of Syria’
Amir-Abdollahian expressed no worry over holding international election mechanisms in Syria; however, he reminded Bashar Assad is still the legitimate president of the country.
Regardless of what the international community thinks about Syria, at the end of the day no political procedure can force out Assad of the election process, he noted.
Rather, it is Assad himself making the final decision on whether standing in presidential elections and it is the Syrian people deciding to vote for or against him, he added.
‘Iran boasts of his performance in Syria’
All through the Syrian crisis, Iran has been influential, preventing a political arrangement being overthrown by terrorist elements, Amir- Abdollahian stated.
According to the official, Iran is the only country in the region which boasts of its constructive presence in the Syrian crisis.
Meanwhile, some countries tried to achieve their political ambitions by choosing the “nastiest” way, using terrorists to topple a country.
Amir-Abdollahian let slip that Bandar bin Sultan, the director general of the Saudi intelligence agency, had told President Vladimir Putin that Saudis wish to overthrow Assad via arming Assad opponents with various ammunitions and asked Putin not to cooperate with Iran.
‘Syria could have surrendered without Iran’s advisory mission’
Turning to the role of Iran in Syria, Amir-Abdollahian noted that Iran was the only foreign power practically offering its advisory mission to Syria.
Amir-Abdollahian asserted that it was so important in the first three years of the crisis that if it was not due to Iran’s contribution and the sacrifice of the Syrian army and people, the country could have given up.
Iran has a key practical role in field developments and it would be literally impossible to reach a solution without the political engagement of Iran. If Iran is now considered as a key player in the Syrian crisis, it is because Tehran has employed all the country’s potentials, Amir-Abdollahian remarked.


AK/AK