Assad can run for presidency in Syria’s future election: Iran

Tehran, Nov 20 (IANS) Syria’s incumbent President Bashar al-Assad has the right to run in any future elections in the country, a senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

“Any qualified person, including (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad, is entitled to stand as a candidate in any final political process in Syria,” Press TV quoted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, as saying.

The Syrian people’s vote will be the last decision over Syria’s future, Amir-Abdollahian said.

As for the results of the latest round of talks over the future of Syria in Vienna on November 14, he said that any timetable for the political settlement of the Syrian conflict could be put into practice only if a ceasefire goes into effect there.

He said that political process in Syria “will get nowhere” if there is no “serious and effective” fight against terrorism.

On November 14, major world and regional powers agreed on a timetable of establishing a transitional government in Syria, and to hold an election within 18 months, but failed to bridge gaps over the future of Assad.

Iran, which participated for the second time in the talks on Syria, said that it would not accept pressure for the ouster of Assad under the pretext of solving the Syrian crisis.

Tehran has emerged as a staunch regional ally of the Assad government in Syria’s long-lasting conflict, saying that it would keep its “military advisers” in Syria to help the Syrian government in its struggle against militants.

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