Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran, Saving Assad’s Fate, Promotes for Stronger Syrian Parliament | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses the media during a news conference in Vienna July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Paris,London- Iran’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Javad Zarif made no ground-breaking proposal regarding the Syrian crisis when visiting Paris and meeting both French President François Hollande and French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, on the other hand, procured information from well-informed sources in Paris that Zarif had reiterated Iran’s well-known and traditional stance, yet hinted Tehran’s preparedness to endeavor on a different roadmap other than the one set by the 17-member (including Iran) Syria Support Group—the group had arranged for the ceasefire based on Russian-U.S. understandings reached in Vienna and adopted by the U.N. Security Council.

Proposed drafts include the establishment of a group including U.S., Russia, and regional key partakers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran along with a number of European countries like France and Britain dedicated to finding a political solution in Syria. Zarif seemed quite open to the idea of Iran collaborating with European countries on the Syrian crisis, sources told Asharq al-Awsat.

The second topic worth shedding light on is that Zarif pointed out that a political settlement in Syria can be established by reinforcing the parliament at the cost of presidential jurisdiction over primary national issues.

French sources consider the Iranian proposal on bolstering parliamentary authorities a fickle attempt for securing Bashar al-Assad’s position as president in the future.

Moreover, should Assad be kept in power, regardless of how greatly the parliament is empowered, it will remain a play of strings pulled by Assad. French sources deemed the proposal insignificant as to aid in finding a political solution for the five-year-old Syrian civil war.

Speaking to press, Zarif stressed the need for an all-inclusive political settlement in Syria, which takes everyone’s best interest into consideration and does not exclude and Syrian party. Such a statement could spur many predictions and interpretations pointing towards a new Iranian openness. Iranian FM Zarif further stressed the need for a ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian relief to all dire areas and the return to negotiations- which has been a long placed demand by the West, Russians and everybody.