Barring any international intervention or rebel advancement, Bashar al-Assad will be the President for another year, at least, if Iran is to be believed. Their friendship will live on. Speaking at a press conference with Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Muallem, Iran foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country will continue supporting Assad through a scheduled 2014 election. "The official position of Iran is that... Assad will remain legitimate president until the next... election," Salehi said Saturday morning. (And then they exchanged friendship bracelets, right? No, but we wish.)
Iran says the only end to the Syrain conflict is a democratic one. "We believe that the crisis has no military solution and only a Syrian political one," Salehi said. Iran and Russia have been the two countries to stand by Syria the longest throughout this fight that has claimed 70,000 lives, according to those tracking the battles in the war torn country.
Syria also used the press conference to criticize the U.S. for supplying "non-lethal" aid to the Syrian rebels for the first time. Newly minted Secretary of State announced the U.S. would provide the Syrian opposition with $60 million to not be spent on guns, or anything else that could kill, earlier this week. "I do not understand how the United States can give support to groups that kill the Syrian people," al-Muallem said. "When the US (says it has) allocated $60 million to the opposition and this opposition is killing people, I don't understand this initiative... are there any weapons that do not kill people? Who are you kidding?" al-Muallem asked rhetorically. We doubt Kerry will issue a direct response to that question.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.