Iran's foreign minister called Friday for foreign fighters to leave Syria so that its people can decide their future themselves.
Speaking on a panel discussion about the Middle East at the World Economic Forum, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran also wants to see an end to foreign support for opponents of President Bashar Assad's government and recognition by all sides that there can be no military solution to the conflict. He said Tehran hoped for a negotiated settlement.Syria claimed from the start that its current conflict has been a fight against armed groups involving foreign fighters. For a considerable time this was a matter of dispute but no more. The foreign fighter, Al-Qaeda affiliated threat has now spread like spilled milk, from Iraq to Syria and now Syria to Iraq, where Iraqi Army and security forces are now engaging ISIL fighters in Anbar province. Akwardly, United States policy finds itself supporting Iraq's fight while working against Syria's fight, in the two Middle Eastern countrys' conflict with the same enemy.
A line of disagreement between Iran/Russia and the United States lies on the issue of including President Assad running in elections that are said to take place in 2014. The Iran/Russia position states that the Syrian electorate should be allowed the opportunity to vote for Assad and his government in a free and fair election, while the American and Western allied position maintains Assad must be excluded. It's this Iran position that prompted the American demand that the UN retract its invitation to Iran for attendance at the Geneva II talks.