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Advisor to Iran’s prime leader calls fate of Syria’s Assad a ‘red line’

DUBAI A best advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader on Sunday stated the future of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad could only be determined by the Syrian folks and this was a “red line” for Tehran.

Assad’s fate is a sticking point in talks between planet powers aimed at discovering a political answer to the crisis in Syria. Iran and Russia want him to stay in power till elections are held, whilst Western and Arab powers say he need to go.

“Bashar al-Assad is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s red line due to the fact he was elected president by the Syrian men and women,” mentioned Ali Akbar Velayati, the top foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The Syrian individuals have to make a decision their own fate, and nobody outdoors Syria’s borders can pick for the Syrian men and women,” he added.

Velayati also mentioned Iran would try to ease tensions between Turkey and Russia. Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet last month that it said had violated Turkish airspace while flying a mission in Syria.

“There is no benefit to tensions mounting up in the region. We have to not take the side of either celebration, and have a duty to lessen tensions between these two countries,” he stated.

(Reporting by Sam Wilkin Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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