Rowhani says Iran ready to help bring democracy to Syria, Yemen

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York. (Reuters)

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said on Monday Tehran was ready to help bring democracy to war-torn Syria and Yemen and blamed the spread of terrorism in the Middle East on the United States.

“We are prepared to assist in the eradication of terrorism and in paving the way for democracy,” Rowhani said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “As we aided the establishment of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in Syria and also Yemen.”

He blamed the crisis in the Middle East on the United States’ occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Washington’s support for Israel against Palestine.

Separately, Iran's state news agency IRNA said Rowhani will cut short his visit to New York and return to Tehran for the funeral of Iranians killed in the hajj tragedy in Saudi Arabia, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

"Some of his meetings and scheduled programs will be canceled and he is returning (to Tehran) on Monday afternoon," IRNA quoted a senior official from Rowhani's office as saying.

Earlier, Rowhani said in an interview that he was ready to discuss a “plan of action” for Syria’s post-war future after ISIS is defeated.

Iran, which along with Russia is allied with Assad in the war, has until now been kept out of U.N. diplomatic efforts to piece together a political solution for Syria.

“That is not a problem for us from right now, to start holding discussions and dialogues so as to determine and reach the conclusion of the next plan of action after the terrorists are driven out that territory,” Rowhani said in an interview to NPR radio.

“But we must all act in unison and have a formula that is required to drive out the terrorists, immediately.”

Rowhani is expected to address the crisis in Syria in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, after President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin take the podium.

The Iranian leader said his country was ready to discuss “the upcoming options” and added that the Syrian government should be included to “reach a plan of action.”

Tehran has been providing financial and military support to the Damascus regime as well as military advisers on the ground in Syria, where more than 240,000 people have died and four million people have been driven from their homes.


(AFP, Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45