Iran to offer new proposal as report claims Assad ready to leave
Iran, a close ally of the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, will make a proposal to end the bloody conflict in Syria during the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran next week, said the Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. Iran "has a proposal on Syria and will submit it to the Non-Aligned" countries on 30 and 31 August, said Salehi according to Mehr news agency.
He gave no details on the nature of this "proposal", but said it was "reasonable and acceptable" by all parties and it would be "very difficult to oppose."
Salehi reiterated that Tehran was ready to host talks between the Syrian government and the opposition "after the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement and the General Assembly of the United Nations" in September.
He added that a "significant part of the Syrian opposition" was ready to participate in such discussions.
Iran has already offered its help to end the bloody Syrian crisis last July, but this offer was ignored by the opposition and by Arab and Western countries that support it. They believe that Tehran is disqualified by the unwavering support it brings to the Assad regime since the beginning of the revolt more than 17 months ago.
Salehi reiterated Tehran's support to Damascus, saying the Syrian crisis was "artificial" and could be resolved through discussions between government and opposition. He reiterated that the support the Syrian regime was a "foundation" of Iranian foreign policy as Syria is "an essential element of resistance against Israel." "We are not ready to abandon this policy," the minister added.
His comments come as a Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Iran and Russia are promoting a new solution for the crisis. According to this report, Assad agreed to leave the country, but insists not to hand it over to "terrorists".