Assad Reiterates Iran’s N. Rights

A04191691.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar Assad concluded his two-day visit to Tehran on Sunday in which he expressed support for Iran’s nuclear program.

Assad also said his country maintains that every state has the right to nuclear energy and research for peaceful purposes.

“Syria’s position is based on international treaties and agreements. Every country that is a member of the IAEA and has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has the right to nuclear energy and the right to conduct research for peaceful purposes,” said Assad at a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Assad addressed reports which claimed that he was asked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to mediate in the Iran-West nuclear standoff and said that his visit to Tehran was scheduled prior to the recent Mediterranean conference in Paris during which he met the French president.

“I did not come on this visit as a mediator nor a messenger and I did not bring with me any messages from Western sources.”

Nonetheless, Assad said that the discussions in Tehran addressed Iran’s nuclear program, among other issues.

“When we attended the Paris conference, we clarified our position to the French in a direct manner. We emphasized that with regard to the Iranian nuclear program, the only solution is dialogue. I came to Iran to get more details on the matter,” he said.

Assad said he was briefed on details of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program during his meetings with senior Iranian officials.

He said he decided to visit Iran to become further informed about the country’s peaceful nuclear plan “so that he could comment on the issue if he was specifically questioned by any other parties.”

“We are here to hear Tehran’s views on the issue and see if we can play any role in this regard” President Assad said stressing that he would “transfer Iran’s stand to the other side as it was made by the Iranian officials.”

President Assad reiterated that Damascus was committed to help settle Iran-West nuclear standoff based on international agreements.

Ahmadinejad said at Sunday’s press conference that dialogue was the only avenue through which a solution could be found.

The Iranian president added that his country was “serious” in pursuing dialogue with the West and expressed hope that the intention would be reciprocated.

Earlier Sunday, Assad met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, where the Leader told the Syrian president that he was “continuing in his father’s path, Hafez Assad and that the good relations between the two countries is an expression of this path.”

Assad, for his part, said that he was “happy that the meeting took place at a time when … we are witnessing great achievements on part of the Islamic resistance group in Lebanon and the strengthening of Hamas in Palestine, while witnessing the weakening of our enemies more than ever before”.

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