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Iran Ready To Discuss "Plan Of Action" On Post-War Syria

  • RFE/RL

Iran's President Hassan Rohani addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at UN headquarters in New York on September 26.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at UN headquarters in New York on September 26.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says he is prepared to discuss a "plan of action" for Syria's post-war future once the Islamic State (IS) group is defeated.

Iran, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has previously kept out of Western efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

In an interview with NPR on September 27, Rohani said Iran is ready 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."

But he said countries fighting the IS militant group "must all act in unison and have a formula that is required to drive out the terrorists, immediately."

Rohani added that the Assad regime should be included to "reach a plan of action," which the United States has previously rejected.

In a separate interview, Rohani said there was widespread acceptance among Western nations that Assad should stay in power.

"I think today everyone has accepted that President Assad must remain so that we can combat the terrorists," Rohani told CNN on September 27.

Assad has faced Western demands that he step down amid the Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 240,000 people and caused four million to flee.

"In Syria, when our first objective is to drive out terrorists and combating terrorists to defeat them, we have no solution other than to strengthen the central authority and the central government of that country as a central seat of power," said Rohani, who is visiting New York for the UN General Assembly.

But Rohani said there should be a role for the Syrian opposition.

"As soon as this movement reaches the various levels of success and starts driving out the terrorists on a step-by-step basis, then other plans must be put into action so as to hear the voices of the opposition as well," Rohani said.

With reporting by NPR, CNN, and AFP
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