14:28 GMT +318 November 2019
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    Syrians walk past a giant campaign billboard of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on June 1, 2014 in the capital Damascus

    Fate of Assad 'Red Line' for Iranian Leadership in Syria Crisis Settlement

    © AFP 2019 / JOSEPH EID
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    Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s fate is a "red line" for Iranian leadership in its effort to resolve the Syrian crisis.

    "Bashar al-Assad is the Islamic Republic of Iran's red line because he was elected president by the Syrian people," Velayati said, according to IRNA news agency.

    The fate of President Assad has been a stumbling block in the Syrian peace talks, with Washington and its allies insisting he must step down, and Moscow saying the people of Syria should decide on his future.

    Velayati also commented on Tehran's role in the settlement of the Syrian crisis, "If the Islamic Republic of Iran had not helped the Syrian government, it would have been toppled; Iran stood up with firmness and now other countries have come to help the Syrian government."

    The Iranian politician also said that only the Syrian people must decide the future of their country without foreign interference.

    Talking about the relations between Russia and Turkey, the advisor said that Tehran is obliged to ease tensions between the two governments.

    "There is no benefit to tensions mounting up in the region. We must not take the side of either party, and have a duty to reduce tensions between these two countries," Velayati said.

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    Tags:
    easing tensions, crisis, leadership, Syrian conflict, election, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Bashar al-Assad, Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran, Syria
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