Iran President Hasan Rouhani will accept anyone elected by Syrian people

 

Iran's President Hasan Rouhani says his country will accept anyone as ruler of Syria who is elected by the Syrian people, the official news agency reported today.

His remarks carried by IRNA do not signal any change of policy on Syria but mark a shift of emphasis from comments by other Iranian leaders, which have often emphasized Iran's support for its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, and blamed the West and Israel for the rebellion against him.

“Whoever Syrian citizens vote for to rule their country, we'll agree with it,” Rouhani was quoted as telling commanders of the powerful Revolutionary Guard.

Syria plans a presidential election in 2014, but few in the opposition take the vote seriously or believe it can be held amid the country's civil war.

Opposition groups say they oppose all negotiation with Assad's government unless it is aimed at his giving up power.

Rouhani was elected in June promising a more diplomatic approach to the West in negotiations over its nuclear program, which the US and its allies say is aimed at weapons development. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes.

The new president has stated however that Iran will not give up its right to disputed nuclear activities, nor has he suggested any major rethinking of Iran's alliance with Damascus. Key nuclear and security matters are under the control of the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and institutions that answer directly to him, including the Revolutionary Guard.

Syria's opposition says the Guard is directly involved in the war on Assad's side. Iran denies this.

“The Guards do not seek military domination on the region,” Rouhani said. “It is mistake by the West that thinks Iran is after military domination on the region.”

He called the US military, which has bases in the Persian Gulf, to leave the region. “You, the unsolicited guest in our region, leave the region and then you will see that it will convert to heaven.”

In the same meeting, Guard commandxer Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said, “So far, the enemies plot for military intervention in Syria has been failed. We are hopeful this will continue until the end.”

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Fundraising Manager / Income Generation Coach

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A smart software company locate...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Account Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Busy, friendly and creative marketing ag...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - London - £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Wes...

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project