Assad plan can assert Syrian rights: Iran

Syrian rebels in the town of Halfaya, Hama province, on December 18, 2012 (file photo)

An Iranian lawmaker says Tehran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad’s peace initiative is aimed at restoring the rights of Syrians.

Member of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Seyyed Ahmad Reza Dastgheyb said Sunday that the three-point Assad peace plan is a litmus test for Syrian opposition groups as well as state sponsors of terrorism.

Dastgheyb said reforms can only be implemented in Syria if violence and unrest ends, rebel groups are disarmed, and an atmosphere of tranquility is restored.

“Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, Iran has voiced support for Syrians and called for an end to violence and election in the country. Iran supports Assad’s plan as it serves the interests of the Syrian nation,” he added.

In a key speech on January 6, Assad called for an end to terrorist operations inside Syria and urged “concerned states and parties” to stop funding, arming and harboring militants.

Assad said his government is always ready to hold talks with the opposition and political parties and that he would call for a “comprehensive national dialog” after foreign parties end their support for the militants and the terrorist activities cease in the country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.