Syria’s Assad must remain in power, says Iran’s president

Published: Monday 28th September 2015 by The News Editor

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Iran’s president has said Syrian leader Bashar Assad has to remain in power to fight extremist groups like Islamic State (IS), and must not be weakened.

Hasan Rouhani told a meeting with scholars and think-tank experts that Iran would co-operate with any country that puts fighting and defeating “terrorism” as its top priority, but could not work with any government that made a change in Syria’s regime its top priority.

Mr Rouhani’s view puts Iran at odds with key nations which adopted a road map in Geneva in June 2012 which calls for the formation of a transitional government in Syria with full executive powers “on the basis of mutual consent”.

He warned that putting regime change first would lead to an extremist takeover of Syria.

Published: Monday 28th September 2015 by The News Editor

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