A senior Iranian official says Syria's embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, is entitled to run for the presidency in any future election in the war-torn country.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, also said on Thursday that the Syrian people's vote will be the conclusive argument over Syria's future.
“Any qualified person, including Bahsar al-Assad, is entitled to stand as candidate in any final political process, but it is the Syrian people who will decide," he said.
The Iranian diplomat said Iran blocked deliberations over Assad’s fate in a recent round of international talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
He said that any timetable for the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, which emerged out of November 14 talks in Vienna, could be put into practice only if a ceasefire goes into effect there.
Amir-Abdollahian said political process in Syria “will get nowhere” if there is no "serious and effective" fight against terrorism.
The crisis in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of over 250,000 people so far and displaced nearly half the country’s population of about 23 million, either internally our outside its borders.
The Vienna talks called for meetings between the opposition and the Assad government with a view to establishing a ceasefire by January 1, 2016.
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