An Iranian official has rejected reports that the West offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdullahian on Friday rejected the report by London-based Al-Hayat daily as untrue.
According to the Thursday Al-Hayat report, Western powers offered to implement the November 24 Geneva deal in exchange for Iran’s help on resolving the Syrian crisis through the formation of a transitional government without Assad.
“The Syrian people will decide their fate,” Amir-Abdullahian said.
“Based on our information, even in talks between Russia and the US over the continuation of Bashar al-Assad’s presidency, Moscow said the continuation of Assad’s presidency depends on the decision and will of the Syrian people,” the Iranian official said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany sealed a historic interim agreement in Geneva on November 24 in an effort to set the stage for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with the Islamic Republic over the country’s nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities for six months, the six countries have agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Iran.