With little notice, the United Nations mediator on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, visited Iran on Sunday to discuss the political and military situation.
Brahimi’s mission came a month after two sets of talks in Geneva failed to bring agreement on an agenda, let alone issues, between regime and opposition delegations. Iran was not present at the discussions, but has been essential to Damascus for billions of dollars in economic support and for high-level military advice, intelligence, logistics, and training.
Iranian State media showed Brahimi with the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani.
Shamkhani put out Tehran’s line that reconciliation will come through Presidential elections this spring, with the inclusion of Syrians’ demands in any political initiative: “The principled position of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has always been underscored, is support for and active cooperation with plans aimed at ending bloodshed and responding to the demands of the Syrian people.”
The Syrian opposition has insisted that President Assad must step aside for a transitional governing authority.
Without making any reference to Iran’s own involvement, Shamkhani emphasized the need for non-interference in Syria’s internal affairs, saying that foreign powers had backed “terrorists” challenging President Assad.
By EA WorldView
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