Top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader draws ‘red line’ on President Assad
Iran has been an ally of Assad, defending the need to keep him in power until elections in Syria are held to prevent extremism. (AFP/File)
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This Sunday, Ali Akbar Velayati, top foreign policy advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the Syrian people alone must decide the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to Reuters, Velayati said involvement from countries outside of Syria would be considered a "red line" for Tehran.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said this week that the next round of talks on the future of Syria is set to occur in New York this month. These talks mark a follow-up to two previous rounds of negotiations between twelve nations in Vienna that started in October. Although Secretary Kerry has suggested that there is an impending breakthrough in negotiations, there has been tension between members of the international community over the future of Assad in Syria.
Iran and Russia have been accused of propping up the Assad regime, asserting that he should remain in power until there are elections in Syria. Velayati has claimed that "Bashar al-Assad is the Islamic Republic of Iran's red line because he was elected president by the Syrian people." For the US and its allies, the presence of Daesh (ISIS) in the region has complicated their views on the political future of Syria. Last month, France suggested that it was not opposed to coordinating with the Assad regime over combating Daesh.
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