Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran supports Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, stressing the need to respect the Arab country’s Constitution and legitimate right to hold elections.
In a phone call on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister and his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, discussed issues of common interest as well as major regional and international developments.
Syria’s official SANA news agency said Mekdad briefed Zarif on the preparations made by the Damascus government for the presidential election later this month.
Zarif, in turn, said Iran supports Syria in exercising its constitutional right to hold elections.
Syria’s presidential election, which will be the second since the start of a decade-long conflict in the country, is scheduled to be held on May 26. Campaigning is set to start on May 11.
Mohamad Jihad Lahham, president of Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court, said on Monday that out of 51, the candidacy applications of 55-year-old Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and two other candidates had been accepted.
Damascus has invited lawmakers from allied countries such as Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela and Cuba to observe the electoral process.
According to opinion polls, Assad has a good chance of re-election given the high popularity rate he has secured thanks to his government’s successful Iran- and Russia-backed battles against foreign-backed terrorists.
However, the Western states, spearheaded by the US, have been trying, in an interventionist approach, to call into question the health of the forthcoming presidential race.
Elsewhere in the phone conversation, Zarif and Mekdad held talks on regional issues, including the developments in Iraq and Palestine, the fight against terrorism, and the Israeli regime’s acts of aggression against Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.
On the eve of the International Quds Day on Friday, they once again stressed full support for the Palestinian cause against Israeli occupation.
In addition, Mekdad praised Iran’s determination to protect its sovereignty and independence, especially with regard to the ongoing negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on potential revival of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major world countries.
The minister condemned some countries, particularly the US, in targeting the livelihood of the Syrians and plundering their oil, wheat and various resources, reiterating Syria’s rejection of such economic terrorism.
He also invited the Iranian foreign minister for a visit to Syria.