Hassan Rouhani told a meeting with scholars and think tank experts that Iran will cooperate with any country that puts fighting and defeating “terrorism” as its top priority — but he said it cannot work with any government that makes a change in Syria’s regime its top priority.
He said the Syrian government does need reform. But he warned that if getting rid of Assad is the top goal, as soon as that happens “the terrorists will enter Damascus immediately” as well as other cities controlled by the government, and all will fall to Daesh, an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State extremist group.
Rouhani’s comments run counter to the roadmap to peace in Syria adopted by key nations in Geneva in June 2012. It calls for the formation of a transitional government with full executive powers “on the basis of mutual consent,” leading to elections, and would require Assad to relinquish power at some unspecified point. (READ MORE)